Chances are you have woke up after a night of restless sleep and just felt awful. It may be just as challenging on these days to get out of bed as it would be to get you to walk on coals. If you only got a few hours of sleep, how can you be expected to make it all day?
On the next night, you try to catch up on sleep by clearing your schedule, and plan to get more than the recommended eight hours. When your alarm sounds and you get up, you realize you feel just as tired as you did when you only got a few hours of sleep, how do you win?
What’s the answer?
The answer is simple, while it seems like oversleeping would help, the truth is that it can be just as harmful to a sleep cycle as not sleeping enough. So, if you are starting to get curious on what exactly a good night of sleep is, you’re not alone. The answer is different for each person, and can depend on the age and various other factors.
Are there health risks?
Oversleeping doesn’t have the same serious health risks compared to not sleeping enough, but habitual oversleeping can lead to health conditions and be a sign of mental and physical complications. The real question is, how is it that oversleeping affects the body?
Like with getting a lack of sleep, oversleeping affects the circadian rhythm of the body. This is a 24-hour cycle that is controlled by the body’s biological clock, which results in mental, physical, even behavioral changes. When we oversleep, we are actually throwing off the normal circadian rhythm of our body. This leads to feeling fatigue, lethargic, even drowsy.
Oversleeping can be compared to the feeling of jet lag, when the body’s normal sleep cycle has been thrown off whack and unaware of what time it is. Those that oversleep could experience various side effects while their body attempts to sync with the correct time.
Some of these side effects can include an increase in headaches, lower back pain, heart disease, even stroke. Sleep researchers speculate that oversleeping can change specific neurotransmitters within the brain, such as serotonin.
Oversleeping can be the result of a long or stressful week, but it can also be the sign of a serious health problem, such as depression or obstructive sleep apnea. Those that regularly oversleep could suffer from hypersomnia, a medical condition of oversleeping. It is common to feel sleepy through the day, even with a good night’s rest and leads to naps. Side effects from this can result in irritability, anxiety, loss of appetite and energy, even memory loss.