Is it bad for your health to sleep a lot?

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Prop­er sleep helps a per­son stay focused and alert through­out the day. Dur­ing the night’s sleep, the reserves of ener­gy and strength spent dur­ing the day are replen­ished. Experts say that main­tain­ing a reg­u­lar sleep and rest reg­i­men helps fight obe­si­ty, dia­betes, heart dis­ease and improves brain func­tion. Indeed, sleep has many advan­tages, but this does not mean that a per­son can sleep as much as he wants: excess sleep is no less harm­ful than its lack. If a per­son expe­ri­ences drowsi­ness more often than usu­al, then he should con­sult a doc­tor to deter­mine the true cause and exclude pos­si­ble dis­eases. Here are a few health haz­ards that exces­sive sleep entails.

1. Heart problems

If a per­son sleeps a lot, then his heart suf­fers and the risk of heart dis­ease increas­es — one of the most com­mon health prob­lems on the plan­et. Researchers in the field of car­di­ol­o­gy claim that excess sleep can affect the increase in the mass of the left ven­tri­cle. And this grad­u­al­ly leads to heart fail­ure. A 2015 neu­ro­science study found that lack of sleep was asso­ci­at­ed with an 18% increase in stroke risk, while exces­sive sleep was asso­ci­at­ed with a 46% increase.

2. Obesity

2. Obesity

There is a link between over­sleep­ing and obe­si­ty. If a per­son sleeps for a long time, he is deprived of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, which is nec­es­sary for burn­ing calo­ries in the body. Due to lack of move­ment, body weight can increase. One British study in 2014 showed that exces­sive sleep leads to the devel­op­ment of men­tal ill­ness and an increase in body mass index.

3. Risk of developing diabetes

Too much sleep in a per­son­’s life can impair the body’s abil­i­ty to metab­o­lize sug­ar, which increas­es insulin resis­tance, a known risk fac­tor for type 2 dia­betes. What’s more, too much sleep accom­pa­nies obe­si­ty and less phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, both of which make dia­betes much more com­mon. At risk are peo­ple who sleep less than sev­en and more than eight hours a day. Improp­er sleep pro­vokes high blood glu­cose lev­els.

4. Chronic weakness and depression

While lack of sleep is a com­mon symp­tom of depres­sion, it has been found that exces­sive sleep can also affect mood, wors­en­ing it and caus­ing depres­sion, weak­ness and chron­ic fatigue. In addi­tion, a long sleep dura­tion leads to a decrease in phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, which is nec­es­sary to bal­ance the lev­els of the neu­ro­trans­mit­ters dopamine and sero­tonin. They are the ones that improve mood. Mov­ing activ­i­ties, sports exer­cis­es help to dis­tract a per­son from stress and increase self-esteem. Clin­i­cal psy­chi­a­trists have observed that sleep dura­tion, as well as sleep depri­va­tion, are impor­tant pre­dic­tors of chron­ic symp­toms of depres­sion and anx­i­ety.

5. Brain deterioration

5. Brain deterioration

Too much sleep caus­es con­stant weak­ness and impairs brain activ­i­ty. In addi­tion, exces­sive sleep can be a sign of under­ly­ing cir­ca­di­an or health prob­lems, which in turn often leads to struc­tur­al changes in the brain and poor cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing. One study of Alzheimer’s dis­ease showed that in old­er women, exces­sive sleep pre­dict­ed future risk of devel­op­ing cog­ni­tive impair­ment, includ­ing demen­tia.

6. Premature death

Incred­i­bly and sad­ly, too much sleep can short­en a per­son­’s life expectan­cy. About 20 stud­ies con­duct­ed in dif­fer­ent coun­tries in 2010–15 showed that insuf­fi­cient sleep, as well as its excess, increas­es the risk of pre­ma­ture death. This was main­ly due to the fact that sleep dis­tur­bance is asso­ci­at­ed with such dan­ger­ous prob­lems as dia­betes, heart dis­ease, obe­si­ty, depres­sion, etc.

7. Headache

Those who sleep more than eight or ten hours a night often expe­ri­ence headaches and weak­ness upon wak­ing and through­out the day. The more often the sleep pat­tern is dis­turbed, the more intense the pain and fatigue can be. This is main­ly due to fluc­tu­a­tions in the lev­els of brain neu­ro­trans­mit­ters, includ­ing sero­tonin. Anoth­er rea­son is skip­ping break­fast and a morn­ing drink. In such cas­es, the headache may be due to low blood sug­ar, mild dehy­dra­tion, or feel­ing hun­gry. Some­one who sleeps long through­out the day may expe­ri­ence migraines the next morn­ing due to dis­turbed sleep pat­terns at night.

8. Discomfort and back pain

8. Discomfort and back pain

If a per­son spends a long time in a sit­ting posi­tion, and then imme­di­ate­ly goes to bed to sleep until late in the morn­ing, then the chances of devel­op­ing severe back pain are high. Sit­ting for long peri­ods reduces activ­i­ty lev­els, which is bad for joint and mus­cle health. This caus­es pain and inflam­ma­tion, and then seri­ous prob­lems in the back and pelvis. Before going to bed after a long sit­ting, you need to move a lit­tle, take a walk and stretch your body. And it is bet­ter to avoid pro­longed lack of move­ment and take short breaks dur­ing work.

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Healthy Sleep Tips

To avoid health prob­lems due to improp­er sleep, it is advis­able to fol­low a few sim­ple rules:

    Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
    Create a comfortable atmosphere for sleeping: hang blackout curtains, buy high-quality bed linen, ventilate the bedroom before going to bed, eliminate sources of noise as much as possible.
    If necessary, you can use earplugs or white noise recordings to help you sleep better.
    Stop watching TV or using electronic gadgets before bed.
    It is better to remove the TV, computer and phone from the bedroom, at least during sleep.
    Before going to bed, do not drink coffee or alcohol.
    Practice meditation by listening to soothing music before going to bed.
    After dinner, it is advisable to take a short walk before going to bed.
    If excessive sleep is suspected, it is helpful to keep a sleep journal to record the number of hours spent sleeping per day.
    Avoid pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock.
    Do a small amount of exercise every morning.

By Yraa

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