Can you get too much sleep?

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Sleeping too much or too little is detrimental to your health
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Wondering if you can get too much sleep then the answer is yes!

You can never be too thin or get too much sleep, right? Wrong, on both counts. Can you get too much sleep? Yes!

Snoozing excessively can actually lead to heart disease, diabetes and increases the risk of death.

Why do people over-sleep and what happens when they do so regularly?

Over-sleeping is often linked to depression and low socioeconomic status. Ironically, sleeping for long periods of time due to depression can worsen depression.

Those with little money have less access to healthcare and, as a result, are not diagnosed when they are sick. If, for example, an individual has heart disease but doesn't know it because he hasn't seen a doctor, he may have an increased need for slumber because of the undiagnosed illness.

Certain medications, including prescribed medicine, can result in grogginess as can alcohol and drugs.

When a person remains in a horizontal position for too long this results in back pain.

Another problem associated with getting too much shut eye is headaches. When a person snoozes excessively this affects serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. This results in a headache.

When a person routinely slumbers nine or 10 hours at night, this may cause obesity. Recent studies reveal diet and exercise are greater factors in determining who becomes obese than over-sleeping. Doctors advise individuals to avoid the extremes -- too little or too much shut eye -- because both can negatively affect health and cause weight gain. Moderation is the key.

Sleep specialists have studied the impact of too much and too little slumber for years. Some conclude those who slumber between 6.5 and 7.5 hours nightly live the longest while those routinely snooze in excess of eight hours a night or less than 6.5 hours do not live as long.

"Long" or excessive sleep starts at the eight-hour mark. Some scientists believe snoozing less than five hours nightly may not be as detrimental to the health as getting more than than 8.5 hours of shut eye.

Chronic over-sleeping

Chronic over-sleeping is a medical ailment called hypersomnia. Those suffering from hypersomnia are terribly groggy during the day, which a nap does not remedy. When the person is able to conk out, he slumbers for an extended period of time. Symptoms associated with hypersomnia include memory issues, because the person is tired all the time, anxiety and low energy levels.

Sleep needs

The amount of shut eye a person requires depends on many factors, including his physical and mental health and circumstances. When someone is sick, he needs more rest. Those suffering from stress also require more slumber. Ideally, a healthy adult should get between seven and nine hours of slumber every night.

Some people simply need more shut eye than others. The basal sleep requirement of some individuals exceeds that of others. Basal sleep is the amount of slumber a person has to have to perform optimally during the day.

Those who regularly do not get enough rest acquire sleep debt. This is accumulative sleep loss resulting from sickness, poor nocturnal habits and repeatedly waking up in the night for various reasons.

Getting the right amount of rest is essential because this safeguards physical and mental health, a person's safety and quality of life. When asleep, the body heals. In children, the body grows and develops while the child is at rest. Deep slumber triggers the hormones that prompt growth and development as well as repair cells and tissues, enhance muscle mass, jump start puberty when the time is right and prepare the body for fertility.

The proper amount of shut eye ensures brain function. It allows the brain to prepare for the next day. New pathways form in the brain while snoozing that enable a person to learn and remember things. A sleep-deprived person is not going to do as well on a test as someone who is rested.

Quality slumber allows a person to make good decisions, effectively problem solve and learn better and faster.

Hormones stay in balance when a person gets enough rest. When deprived of shut eye, a person gets hungrier than the person who is rested. Blood sugar levels rise when a person doesn't get enough slumber.

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