When you were a kid, your parents probably told you that you needed at least eight hours of good sleep to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your school day. But now that you’ve grown up, you realize that while sleep can be very restorative, getting too much sleep can actually be harmful to your health. So if you’re one of those people who thinks 10 hours of sleep a night is a light nap, here are some reasons to stop sleeping so much.
When you sleep too much, your body has a very hard time recovering when you’re awake, because you’ve shut down your system for such a long time that getting back to normal speed takes awhile. As a result of that long recovery time, you will feel lethargic and drowsy during the early part of your day, and you may actually want to take a nap to feel rested. Oversleeping just makes it difficult for your body to fully activate during the day, which can affect your productivity, mood and emotions.
Studies have shown a link between people who chronically oversleep, and a corresponding gain in weight. Researchers believe that oversleepers tend to develop bad habits such as overeating, and being less willing to get off the couch and commit to an exercise program. Oversleeping can also inhibit the production of ghrelin, which is a hormone that regulates hunger. Studies have shown that people who sleep six hours or less at night, tend to produce more ghrelin, which in turn helps them eat less. And obesity is no laughing matter, because it can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Researchers have also found that oversleeping can lead to depression, due primarily to the above-mentioned sense of lethargy that can overtake a person’s life. Prolonged lethargy can lead to feelings of worthlessness, which can trigger depression. When you lose the will or energy to be active and engaged in your life, it can have an adverse effect on your mental health and your self-esteem. And the danger with depression is that it often causes you to seek relief in sleep, which only exacerbates the problem and creates a vicious cycle that is very difficult to break.