We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. The quality of sleep and the duration of sleep at night are crucial for a healthy everyday life. It is widely known that too little sleep has a negative impact on our health and performance. But what happens when we regularly sleep too much? You can find out here whether we can really sleep too much and what effects a long sleep duration has.
Table of Contents
- The importance of sleep duration
- Can we sleep too much?
- Consequences of too much sleep
- The right amount of sleep is crucial
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 gather new energy for the next day. Good quality sleep and the right amount of sleep are therefore essential for us to be able to cope with our everyday lives in a healthy and efficient manner. How much sleep we really need is individual and depends on various factors. Experts generally recommend between 7 – 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 when we wake up. We are usually tired when we wake up in the wrong phases of sleep.
One in two Germans suffers from sleep problems, which are mostly related to the fact that difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep reduce the duration of sleep and the body cannot recover sufficiently. It is well known that too little sleep has numerous negative consequences on our health and well-being. But what happens 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 organism actually needs for regeneration, we disrupt the natural sleep-wake rhythm and disrupt important biological processes, including metabolism and hormone regulation. For this reason, oversleeping regularly can be harmful in the long term. What are the consequences of too much sleep?
3. Consequences of too much sleep
Severe tiredness during the day
The further we sleep beyond our own needs, the less we reach the restful deep sleep phases. In addition, our biorhythm causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol towards the morning, which wakes us up. The brightness of the day and the rising body temperature also contribute to the fact that sleep is less restful and we suffer from sluggishness, tiredness or headaches during the day despite sleeping for a long time.
Various studies show that not only too little sleep, but also too much sleep can be harmful to our health. Sleeping more than 8 hours per night increases the risk of Parkinson's disease, various heart diseases or diabetes and leads to a higher likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Sleeping too long also promotes the development of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels and obesity.
Mental health also suffers in the long run from too much sleep. Sleep researchers were able to show that people who regularly sleep more than nine hours are more susceptible to depressive illnesses. The probability of suffering from depression is 49% and is therefore 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 consistently high amount of sleep can have a negative impact on the quality of sleep and disrupt important processing processes. Especially for older peoplethe risk of mental impairments increases, such as increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory, which are preliminary stages of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
4. The right amount of sleep is crucial
The right amount of sleep determines our well-being and health in many ways and has numerous effects on how we go about our everyday lives. It should not be ignored that too much sleep can have negative effects in the long term. It is therefore worth paying attention to your own need for sleep and adapting your sleep rhythm to the length of sleep you need.
Regular excess sleep, as well as persistent lack of sleep, has numerous negative consequences on our health and performance.
Sleeping for too long reduces the quality of sleep and can lead to tiredness, sluggishness or headaches during the day.
Too much sleep is harmful 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 disrupted by a consistently high amount of sleep and promote increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory.
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