Oversleeping can increase the risk of dying early by as much as 41 percent. Few people are aware of this because there is more emphasize on the dangers of inadequate sleep and little or none about the dangers of excessive sleeping.
What is Oversleeping?
Oversleeping is simply getting too much sleep too often. When someone struggles to wake up to their alarm each morning and therefore sleeps in, longer than their intended wake-up time. It causes negative impacts of health and general well-being. A global study conducted by the European Heart Journal shows that sleeping more than the recommended six to eight hours a night increases your risk of dying sooner than expected, as a matter of fact, by as much as 41 percent. This data came from 116,613 people, ages 35 to 70, from 21 countries surveyed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that too much sleep will kill immediately, it is a slow poison. Over a period of time, it increases chances of stroke, obesity, diabetes, heart failure, impaired fertility, cognitive deterioration and other cardiovascular problems, which ultimately leads to death. It effect could also be more simple like causing anxiety, low energy, memory problems, headaches, back pain etc.
Why am I oversleeping?
Unfortunately, there is no straight forward answer to what counts as oversleeping. Oversleeping often isn’t the result of laziness. There are many factors which may be contributing to an oversleeping problem. Roy Raymann, PhD Chief Scientific Officer at SleepScore Labs, states that it depends on quite a number of factors including age, depression, fitness level, genetics, activity, health, the amount of stress a person is under. Other causes are taking certain medications, pregnancy and a reaction to oncoming illness. In more serious cases, it might be the symptom of hypersomnia or other sleeping disorders and medical conditions. According to the Centers for Disease control and prevention, however, here’s how long each age group should sleep each night all things being equal:
|Infants (4 months to 12 months)||12-16 hours|
|Toddler (1-2 years)||11-14 hours|
|Pre-school (3-5 years)||10-13 hours|
|School Age (6-12 years)||9-12 hours|
|Teenagers (13-17 years)||8-10 hours|
|Adults (18-60 years)||7 or more hours|
|Adults (61-64 years)||7-9 hours|
|Adults (65+ years)||7-8 hours|
How do I stop oversleeping.
Here are some tips to take to sleep less and not feel sleepless:
- Change your alarm routine: First, set your alarm for the same time every morning, no matter whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. Rising at exactly the same time every day is key. For the first week, delay the time you go to bed by 20 minutes, the second week, delay it by 40 minutes. For the third week, delay it by an hour. Continue cutting down in 20 minute increments until you are sleeping at most eight hours a night.
- Avoid sleeping in on weekends even when you really want to: Always dodge the urge to take a nap .Taking naps in the day, especially if you don’t need them, can lead to you feeling overtired. Get busy on weekends and wait for a sweet night sleep.
- Keep a sleep diary: Recording each night’s sleep in a journal will enable you to keep track of whether you are getting too much sleep or not.
- Avoid taking alcohol before bedtime
- If you are unable to change your sleeping habits and can’t get out of bed with less than 10 or 12 hours of sleep a night, then it might be time talk to your doctor. Also see your doctor if you always feel tired in the morning, regardless of how much sleep you had. If lifestyle habits are not enough to reduce your sleep, a doctor may be able to help.
Remember, more sleep, doesn’t mean good sleep!