Sleep is necessary for our mind to rest, recharge our batteries and oxygenate our body. And, in this sense, we need to sleep to think clearly, react quickly and settle our memory since, for example, the brain processes that help us learn and remember are especially active while we sleep.
Specialists recommend sleeping between 7 and 8 hours a day, which we will take as a reference, although this is the average for an adult and not all of us have the same needs or sleep rhythms (the experts agree that less than 6 hours of sleep sleep or more than 9 are not recommended).
Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can lead to problems of different kinds. For example, it will be more difficult for us to concentrate and it slows down our response time, thus affecting our performance. In addition, an evident effect of not sleeping enough is that our mood is affected by being more irritable and chronic lack of sleep has been linked with a greater probability of suffering from depression. On the other hand, our health can also be affected by not getting enough sleep since various studies have shown that it increases the risk of hypertension or heart disease without forgetting that when we sleep, our body releases certain hormones to help fight infections. So sleeping well helps prevent illness and keep us healthy.
Effects of sleeping excessively
That said, we are clear that not sleeping enough hours is detrimental to our mental and physical well-being, but then does sleeping more have the opposite effect? Is it healthy to sleep more than the recommended 7 or 8 hours? The answer is no, since sleeping too much – we are not talking about it in a specific way – can have negative effects similar to sleeping too little.
In this way, excess sleep can be an indicator of poor health because when we sleep for many hours and still remain tired, it indicates that something is not working well in our body. And on the other hand, sleeping long hours can also cause health problems. Let’s see which ones:
- Sleeping excessively affects the moodThat is why disorders such as depression are related to sleep. In addition, sleeping for long hours alters the secretion of serotonin, the neurotransmitter popularly known as the ‘happiness hormone’, which can cause bad moods and also headaches.
- In men,increases the risk of developing diabetes when you sleep too much as found in different studies that found that men who slept too little or too much are more likely to have impaired ability to process sugar (had higher levels) compared to men who slept the correct number of hours .
- Sleeping more than eight hours increases the risk of cardiovascular disease which currently represent the leading cause of death in the world. In this way, a investigation from Cambridge University, which analyzed the sleep patterns of 10,000 people between the ages of 42 and 81, determined that those who slept more than 8 hours a day had a 46% greater chance of suffering a stroke or cerebral infarction.
- Prolonged sleep affects concentration and proper brain activity in our daily routine. In this sense, the decrease in cognitive abilities (concentration, memory, problem solving …) is therefore associated with excess hours of sleep, as demonstrated by a study conducted on 15,000 women over 70 years of age, which showed that those who slept little or a lot for several years had a cognitive age two years older than those who maintained a routine of between 7 and 8 hours of daily sleep.
- Sleeping excessively leads in most cases to metabolic alterations since the more we sleep, the less energy we have and the more difficult it is for us to move, so less physical activity is performed. Therefore, it is common for those people who sleep more than recommended to present weight problems such as obesity.
- Finally, we will highlight that many of us have experienced after sleeping many hours, that we wake up slightly confused. And it is that sleeping excessively tends to generate even more drowsiness. Something called the sleep hangover.