Sleeping too much can be linked to an increased risk of heart problems and even an increased risk of mortality.
Studies have shown that an average duration of 10 hours of sleep per night is linked to a 30% increase in premature deaths, compared to seven hours a night.
After all, does sleeping a lot affect your health?
That the few hours of sleep are harmful to health we already know, but it is essential to keep in mind that the extra hours are also not good!
According to experts, sleeping too much generates the tendency to develop cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, for example. This is because, during sleep, there is a reduction in cardiovascular activity, a drop in blood pressure and heart rate.
These changes, therefore, require that, at night, during rest, sleep is balanced and, preferably, uninterrupted.
Can sleeping too much be related to sleep apnea?
As we talked about earlier, sleep apnea is characterized by partial or total airway obstruction that causes people’s sleep to be interrupted several times during the night.
This fragmentation prevents the individual from reaching the deepest stages of sleep in which the body is invigorated, in addition to producing hormones that order the body to function.
Therefore, it can be said that to try to replace the minutes that were lost during episodes of apnea, apnea patients feel a greater need to sleep longer than recommended.
“The continuity of this phenomenon disrupts the vital functions of our body, contributing to the emergence of cardiovascular diseases”
Sleeping more than nine hours constantly per night can be a sign of an existing health problem and can also pose health risks.
What causes excess sleep?
In some cases, it may just be a matter of bad habits.
If you don’t maintain a well-regulated rest routine, too much sleep may appear as a result.
For other people, excessive sleep can be caused by mental problems.
Depression, for example, is well known for its ability to turn people into real zombies, as sleep becomes an escape tool, so you don’t have to deal with reality.
And in other cases, too much sleep is caused by some health problems.
Because of this, it is necessary to rule out any disease before looking for a psychologist.
Hyperthyroidism, autoimmune diseases, and kidney problems are examples of diseases that affect your sleep cycle.
Here are some associated risks:
1. Sleeping too much can increase your risk of depression
2. It can harm the brain
Women who slept more than nine hours a night (or less than five) showed changes in the brain compatible with two-year aging.
3. Difficulty in getting pregnant
Experts found that pregnancy rates were higher among women who slept between seven and eight hours a night and lower among women who slept between nine and eleven hours.
4. Sleeping too much can increase your risk of diabetes
People who sleep more than eight hours a night are likely to be twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes or glucose tolerance problems, compared to individuals who sleep between seven and eight hours, even controlling for differences in body mass.
5. Can lead to weight gain
People who sleep between nine to ten hours a night are 25% more likely to gain five pounds throughout the study, even controlling what they eat and exercising.
6. Cardiovascular problems
Sleeping eight or more hours a night is associated with an increased risk of heart problems.
7. Sleeping too much can lead to premature death
There are more risks of death – from any cause – both for those who sleep little and for those who sleep a lot.
How to treat excess sleep?
The way to get a good night’s sleep is to transform your daily habits and routines.
Consult a professional psychiatrist or in conjunction with a psychologist to identify the origins of excess sleep.
In therapy it is possible to find out if the source is organic or emotional it can be a good start for the treatment.
Finding out the beginning, worsening or helping factors, your eating habits, and general behavior will serve as the basis for creating a specific treatment for your case, deferring a healthy and productive lifestyle regime.
1. Think of cycles, not hours
The need to sleep eight hours a night is a myth
Our sleep follows a natural cycle of 90 minutes during which we move from deep or synchronized sleep (without rapid eye movements) to a phase of REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep, of rapid eye movements.
The important thing, he points out, is not to interrupt one of these phases, so it is recommended to sleep based on multiples of 90 minutes: it can be 7.5 hours, 6 hours, or even 4.5 hours a day.
It is advisable to set a time to wake up regularly and, from there, calculate the total sleep time.
2. Count the hours slept per week, not per night
“What we want to complete is 35 cycles in seven days, which means five a day”
If you sleep little one night, you only need to balance with an extra cycle the next night or plan an additional cycle during the day.
So, the important thing is to check what type of activity you will have throughout the week and establish a cycle plan, according to social and work commitments.
3. Sleep a few times throughout the day
Until the emergence of electric light, many humans had polyphasic sleep, as babies do, which means that they slept more often over 24 hours, but for shorter periods. It would be the circadian cycle or biological cycle of 24 hours.
There are times of the day when the human body is biologically “designed” to rest. A time when it would be “natural” to sleep is midday. Another is the period between 17h and 19h.
4. Incorporate ‘controlled recovery periods’
It is important to clarify that resting does not always mean sleeping. There is, then, the concept of “controlled recovery periods” – CRP, in the acronym in English.
CRP has nothing to do with sleeping for some time. It is about allocating 30 minutes (one-third of the 90-minute cycle) to take time for yourself, emphasizing that this can be done anywhere.
The expert says that, among the forms of CRP, are meditation, relaxation sessions, listening to music or simply putting a towel over your head and staying in a quiet place.
5. Having a well-defined wake-up routine
The 90 minutes following waking up are also important to ensure a healthy rest.
To get a good morning, everything you do from the moment you wake up determines the quality of your recovery.
Therefore, it is important to establish a routine for post-awakening, postponing, for example, contact with digital devices.
It is also recommended to hydrate, eat and exercise.
Nowadays we sleep too much to make up for the days we sleep too little.
There could be nothing more wrong to do than make up for it that way.
Our body needs a rhythm, and a set time, so constantly changing the hours of sleep, sleep and wake up does not make us able to rest better.
On the contrary, it will make us wake up more tired, disoriented, and the next night we will have a hard time falling asleep at the time that will be needed.