Can you sleep too much?
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Sleep quality and nightly sleep duration are crucial for a healthy everyday life. It is widely known that too little sleep has a negative effect on our health and performance. But what happens when we sleep too much on a regular basis? You can find out here whether we can really sleep too much and how long sleep duration affects it.
Table of Contents
- The importance of sleep duration
- Can we sleep too much?
- Consequences of too much sleep
- The right amount of sleep is decisive
1. The importance of sleep duration
Numerous repair and recovery processes take place during sleep. The immune system is running at full speed, we process information and collect new energy for the next day. A good quality of sleep and the right amount of sleep are therefore essential for us to be able to master our everyday life in a healthy and efficient manner. How much sleep we really need is individual and depends on various factors. Experts generally recommend between 7 and 8 hours of sleep. At night we go through several sleep cycles, which in turn consist of different sleep phases. We explain this in more detail in this article. In order for us to be properly awake in the morning and during the day, it also depends on what time we wake up. We are usually tired when we wake up in the wrong sleep phase.
Every second German suffers from sleep problems, but these are mostly related to the fact that difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep reduce the amount of sleep and the body cannot recover sufficiently. It is therefore well known that too little sleep has numerous negative consequences for our health and well-being. However, what about when we sleep too much?
2. Can we sleep too much?
What many people don't know: just like too little sleep, "oversleeping" and exceeding the optimal amount of sleep is not good for the human body. If we sleep longer than our body actually needs for regeneration, we disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle and disrupt important biological processes, including metabolism and hormone regulation. For this reason, regular oversleeping can also be harmful in the long term. What are the consequences of too much sleep?
3. Consequences of too much sleep
Pronounced tiredness during the day
The more we sleep beyond our own needs, the less we reach the restorative deep sleep phases. In addition, our biorhythm ensures the release of the stress hormone cortisol in the morning, which wakes us up. The brightness of the day and the rising body temperature then also contribute to the fact that sleep is less restful and we suffer from sluggishness, tiredness or headaches during the day despite a long sleep duration.
Various studies show that not only too little, but also too much sleep can damage our health. More than 8 hours of sleep per night increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, various heart diseases or diabetes and leads to a higher likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Too much sleep also promotes the development of high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels and obesity.
Mental health also suffers from too much sleep in the long run. Sleep researchers were able to show that people who regularly sleep more than nine hours are more susceptible to depressive illnesses. The probability of developing depression is therefore 49%, which is 20% higher than for those who sleep between seven and nine hours.
Reduction in brain and memory performance
When we sleep, we process, sort and store the information and impressions of the day. The quality of sleep is crucial for our memory performance at night and during the day. As already mentioned, a permanently high amount of sleep can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep and disrupt important processing. For people older in particular, the risk of mental limitations, such as increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory, which are preliminary stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, increases.
4. The right amount of sleep decides
The right amount of sleep determines our well-being and our health in many ways and has numerous effects on how we go about our everyday lives. The fact that too much sleep can also have negative effects in the long term should not be ignored. It is therefore worth paying attention to your own sleep needs and adapting your sleep rhythm to the individually required sleep duration.
Regular excess sleep, like persistent lack of sleep, has numerous negative consequences for our health and performance.
Sleeping too long reduces the quality of sleep and can lead to tiredness, sluggishness or headaches during the day.
Too much sleep is detrimental to both physical and mental health. Among other things, the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and depression increases.
Important memory processes can be disturbed by a permanently high amount of sleep and promote increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory.
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