For many, it’s a constant struggle to get enough sleep in a day, whether because work demands it of you or because you demand it of yourself.
Over the last decade, it’s now become well-known that sleep plays an important part in our overall health, so you need to make sure you’re getting enough of it. How much? Doctors suggest seven to nine hours of sleep a day depending on the person.
However, apparently, getting too much sleep is just as bad as not getting enough.
For all those who love binge-sleeping over the weekend to make up for the weekday, going to bed at 10 and then waking up at noon, we apologize– this is going to be nothing but bad news.
Even were sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing.
Are you getting too much sleep? It’s time to find out…
1. Brain fog
According to WebMD, “too much sleep can make your brain feel foggy.”
If you wake up feeling like a zombie who can’t put together a coherent sentence for an extended period of time, watch out. Clearly, a little of this is normal, but if you notice this extend into your day, that’s one sign that you might just be getting too much sleep.
Headaches are another sign of too much sleep, according to Elizabeth McDevitt of the Sleep and Cognition Lab at UC Riverside. They could very well be caused from sleeping in too long:
The mechanism behind this isn’t understood that well, and one hypothesis is that fluctuations in neurotransmitters during sleep may be a trigger for headaches,
Another possibility is that when people sleep later in the morning, they may be sleeping past their normal breakfast or coffee time, and the headaches may be related to caffeine withdrawals, low blood sugar, or dehydration.
Another common sign of too much sleep– and a sign I’ve experienced before after what I thought would be a nice morning of make-up sleep– is body pain.
If you’ve ever woken up feeling pain all over your body, pain you don’t typically feel after waking up from an average night’s rest, that’s a good sign you may have gotten too much sleep.
Have you ever slept in, expecting to feel nice and rested the next day– yes, fiiiiiiinally– only to feel more tired than when you laid down to rest the previous night?
What the heck, right? Well, it turns out there’s something to this.
Similarly to the headaches caused by oversleeping, just because we wake up later in the day doesn’t mean our body decides to wait for us. If you sleep in to, say, noon, there’s a good chance your body’s cells start their energy cycle at your normal wake time several hours earlier.
Because of this, you wake up feeling far more tired than you expected, your body having been expending energy for hours.
5. Memory loss
According to a Harvard Health study, getting too much sleep can also negatively affect your memory.
Researcher Elizabeth Devore and her team followed a group of women first in 1986 and then later in 2000. Throughout their research, they consistently found that those study participants who had excess sleep performed worse on several brain tests than those who received sufficient sleep and also showed signs of memory loss.
6. Weight gain
While a difficult factor to prove, weight gain is nonetheless a potential cause of oversleeping.
We still don’t exactly know why that’s the case, but several studies have proven that a link between the two does exist.
For example, one University of Glasgow study found that “in people with high genetic risk for obesity, both short sleep durations (less than 7 hours per night) and long sleep durations (more than 9 hours per night) further increased risk of carrying excess weight, compared with those who slept for normal durations (between 7 and 9 hours every night).”