Oversleeping: One Overlooked Sleep Problem

Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation is one of the most common and serious sleep problems there is. It can cause you a lot of things since it can slow your brain activity down. In fact, it can induce symptoms similar to those of psychiatric disorders. However, can oversleeping also be a problem?


Sleep is indeed important to maintaining proper health. During a good night’s rest, your body does most of its healing processes. A study found that people who sleep for nine hours or more are more likely to experience brain health problems as those who get only six hours or less of it.

Other studies found that oversleeping will not help you sleep better and instead is linked to a number of medical problems, such as:

  1. Diabetes – A research involving 9,000 individuals found that people who slept more than nine hours daily had an increased risk of diabetes compared to people who slept for only seven hours a night. This risk is also seen in people who slept less than five hours per night.
  2. Obesity – A study revealed that people who had about nine or 10 hours of sleep every night had a 21 percent raised risk of becoming obese over a six-year period.
  3. Headaches – These may be a result of oversleeping because this has an effect on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin. Oversleeping during the day may also cause head pain and give people a hard time sleeping at night. You may suffer from headaches in the morning.
  4. Back pain – Rather than sleeping when your back aches, some doctors believe that the opposite should be done.
  5. Depression – Studies show that about 15 percent of depressed people are guilty of oversleeping. Oversleeping can also make depression worse because your body’s normal recovery processes are not allowed to run their course. In a number of cases, sleep deprivation is considered a treatment measure for depression.
  6. Heart disease – An analysis involving about 72,000 women showed that women who had nine to 11 hours of sleep every night were 38 percent more vulnerable to coronary heart disease.
  7. Death – The occurrence of death was found to be higher in people who sleep nine or more hours every night. Unfortunately, no specific reason was found for this.

Based on recent research, the general recommendation of getting at least eight hours of sleep may not be applicable to every person. Sleep requirements are actually unique depending on a person. For example, children need more sleep than adults do, or you may require more sleep than your peers.

One way to know if you’re sleep-deprived is if you feel tired when you wake up. This means you need more sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), people have the following:

  • Basal sleep need – The required amount of sleep you need for optimal performance during the day
  • Sleep debt – The accumulated sleep you lose

Ideally, people possess a basal sleep need of seven to eight hours each night. This may increase when your sleep debt accumulates. Unfortunately, lost sleep cannot be made up. Instead, you can fix this problem by getting more hours of sleep for a few nights. It is assumed that after this, you should return to your original sleep requirements.

The bottom line is: you should also prioritize sleep. Reasons such as poor sleep habits, sicknesses, environmental factors, and other causes may hinder you from getting a good night’s sleep. Remember, your body needs sleep to recover. More particularly, you need to get some shuteye before the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. because this is the time your body uses to do most of its recovery processes.

There are numerous sources on line on how to sleep. It is best not to resort to medications to sleep better as these can cause harm unto your system. Opt for natural means to fight sleep problems.

About the Author:

Amanda Blackwell is quite an expert in sleep problems, being a sleep patient in a past. She is currently recovering from the sleep problems she obtained from working night shift for a couple of years. Now, she maintains a blog about her experiences. She also provides information on how to sleep better using natural means, like smart lifestyle changes.