When it comes to counting sheep, most of us are familiar with the ill effects of sleep deprivation. Too little sleep not only affects our mood, stress, memory, and immunity, but it has also been linked with many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and depression. Not meeting the recommended duration of sleep can put us at risk of many medical conditions. But what happens when you sleep too much? 

Recent research has found that oversleeping is just as bad as sleeping too little. Oversleeping, or sleeping longer than 9 hours every day, is even more strongly associated with diabetes, hypertension and a risk of dying early. In fact, if you’re sleeping more than nine hours a day, it may be a sign of an underlying disorder and should definitely be investigated. 

Oversleeping Can Lead to These 5 Health Problems: 

1. Obesity

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Sleeping longer than recommended can increase your weight, as well as your waist circumference. In fact, those who sleep 9 to 10 hours a day will have 
3.48 more pounds of body fat over a 6-year period, as compared to those who sleep just 7 to 8 hours a day.

Adults who habitually sleep longer than 8 to 9 hours also have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who sleep 8 hours. Longer hours of sleep per day can increase your risk of obesity by as much as 21%. And in the elderly, this risk may even be as high as 193%! 

Too much sleep is also associated with an elevated risk of metabolic syndrome, a higher level of blood sugar, triglycerides, and low levels of good cholesterol. 

2. Diabetes 

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Sleep duration is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A meta-analysis found that longer sleep is significantly associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

Researchers speculate that longer sleep duration may be linked with a sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity, and unhealthy food choices, all of which are known to escalate the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

3. Depression 

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Both obesity and diabetes increase the risk of inflammation in the body. This, in turn, may increase your risk of depression. Some studies have reported that longer sleeping duration may even be a risk factor for diabetes. Depression itself can cause sleep difficulties, with some finding it difficult to sleep, while some sleeping longer than normal. 

4. Cardiovascular Diseases, Heart Attack, and Stroke

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Too much sleep can put you at risk of developing heart diseases, and may also affect the blood vessels in your brain. A study involving more than 1 million people found that adding just one hour to the recommended duration of sleep can increase your risk of heart disease by almost 5%. This risk shoots up to 17% when you sleep for more than 9 hours, and to 41% on sleeping for more than 10 hours. 

5. Increased Mortality Risk 

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Mounting evidence from research has firmly established that longer sleep duration is associated with increased mortality risk. Sleeping more than 8 hours a day can significantly increase your risk of dying early due to heart attack or stroke. By asking health questions online, you can find out if you’re at risk of suffering from an early stroke or heart episode.

Clearly, the duration of sleep strongly influences one’s health. If you do not feel rested or find it difficult to wake up in the morning, even after 8 hours of sleep, you may have an underlying disorder. It could also be a side effect of your medicines. Ask one of our doctors if you have questions about your sleep routine.  

It is not just the amount of sleep you are getting, but also the quality of sleep that’s important. Reap the maximum benefits of sleeping by following good sleeping habits and sticking to the recommended duration of sleep. 

For more information on what your sleeping habits can tell you about your health, contact one of our online doctors today!

About the Author

Jyoti Srivastav

Jyoti is a writer and editor with 6 years of experience in scientific and medical writing. She has been the recipient of ICMR's JRF and has worked in public health care sector and medical research. She is presently working as a Managing Editor!

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