Is there such a thing as too much sleep?

Not only is there such a thing as too much sleep, studies suggest it is very detrimental to your health. 

A study by the American Cancer Society showed that people who slept too much had a higher risk of death over six years. Specifically, the risk of death increased 12 percent for people who slept eight hours, 17 percent for people who slept nine, and 34 percent for people who slept for ten hours a night.

Oversleeping is linked to some medical problems, including diabetes and heart disease. However, the negative effects of oversleeping may also be caused by depression and low socioeconomic status. For instance, people of lower income may have less access to health care and thus suffer from more undiagnosed illnesses such as heart disease, which may cause oversleeping.

Oversleeping can also be a symptom of a medical disorder. For instance, people with hypersomnia suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness that is not usually relieved by napping. They tend to sleep for unusually long periods of time at night and experience anxiety, low energy, and memory problems as a result of their constant need for sleep.

Depression, use of alcohol and some prescription medications, and simply love for sleeping, are other possible causes of oversleeping. 
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It is possible to sleep too much. A six-year study of one million adults revealed that the highest mortality rates occurred in those who either slept more than eight hours or less than four hours a night.

Routinely sleeping more than eight hours can lead to high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. Another study shows that people who average more than nine hours of sleep per night have twice the risk of developing Parkinson's disease as those who average six hours of sleep or less per night.

Continue Learning about Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy sleep isn't just about getting enough sleep; getting the right kind counts, too. While you sleep your brain stays active, and it actually takes several stages of sleep to make you feel well and refreshed. Just how much sle...

ep we need changes as we age, from 16 to 18 hours a day for newborns to 7 to 8 hours a night for adults. If you find yourself feeling tired or fatigued during the day even after a full night in bed, you may have a sleep disorder. See your family doctor or a sleep specialist for help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.