December 21, 2007

Sleeping for long hours is not good for health

A good night’s sleep refreshes us mentally and physically. Insufficient sleep or long term sleep deprivation is detrimental to one’s health. Nothing new - almost everyone is aware of this fact. Insomnia is by far the most talked about and discussed sleep disorder. Tons of information is available on this topic and countless remedies are suggested by all and sundry to overcome this problem. Comparatively, excessive sleep and its effects on health rarely get so much attention and this issue hardly finds a place in the conversation of laymen.

Although the average amount of sleep for a person is 8 hours, individual needs may vary. It all depends on our inherited genetic need, the internal body clock, environment, one’s activities during the day, quality of sleep, bedtime habits and so on. We have to figure out our own optimum sleep hours. If we can carry out our daily chores without feeling too sleepy, cranky or fatigued then most certainly we are getting enough sleep. Anything more than that is bad.
Usually, more than 9 hours of sleep is considered to be long sleep. Persons who sleep for long hours are mostly victims to depression, mood swings, minor aches and anxiety. Long sleepers are also found to be pessimistic towards their contemporary social values, says. A survey conducted by Dr Ernest Hartman disclosed the fact that long sleepers are almost negative to their surroundings.
It has been found that long sleepers have a 50 percent greater risk of stroke, higher rates of cardiovascular disease and possibly an increased risk for diabetes than those who sleep for six to eight hours a night. A recent study reiterates that spending too many long hours in bed, than needed, is as bad as chronic sleep deprivation. According to this study, adults who routinely get too little or too much sleep may die sooner than those who get the standard 8 hours each night.
It is not clear whether long sleeping is an early symptom of ailments that will not become evident until much later or whether long sleeping itself increases one's risk for certain diseases. Reducing one's time in bed would be the safest proposition in such cases, says researcher Youngstedt - it doesn't require an expensive prescription, just a good alarm clock to wake a person at the right time.

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  1. I'm happy to present this article as part of the Happy New Year's Carnival of Family Life which I am hosting tomorrow at Mixed! Hope you'll drop by the party and join in the festivities -- we have many wonderful entries this week!

  2. Anonymous2:34 AM

    I totally disagree with this article. Not to be rude or anything but saying that sleeping more than 9 hours is unhealthy and cause diseases is just not right, I mean isn't sleeping supposed to be good for us, not bad? If you go to bed before 11pm then it is completely healthy. However, if one sleeps more than 12 hours then it may have bad influence on the person's digestions systems, and gain fat. For some people, the more they sleep the longer they will be a sleep.

    I also disagree with what the article said about most long sleepers are under depression and are being negative about their surroundings. I have to admit I am a long sleeper, but I am totally not negative or under depression, I just find sleeping on a sunday morning is very relaxing and it feels nice. Of course, I am saying about what I believe and I do realize in the article you said most and not all. I am sorry if I sound rude or anything :> just speaking out a piece of my mind.

  3. First of all, I would like to say that there was no need for you to conceal your identity and comment as anonymous when you were just expressing your views and not saying anything offensive. Secondly, I would like to tell you that I have clearly mentioned in the article that a good night's sleep is highly essential for the well-being of a person and how much sleep a person requires depends on his/her genetic need and other factors. But I'm sure that you will agree with me that anything in excess is always bad and moderation is the key to health and happiness in all aspects of life. 9 hours of sleep may perfectly suit your body constitution but others may find it more than their average need. Winston Churchill, for instance, could do with just 4-6 hours of sleep every night and he lived up to 90 years. And I think if you do indulge in lazing around on bed for a few extra hours on Sundays after a week's hard work, it is perfectly understandable. I'm talking about the habitual long sleepers here; they are the ones most likely to have a higher risk of diseases, survey conducted by researchers clearly point out to that. It's also quite possible that you must have seen other people who sleep for long hours but are hale and hearty, with no disease whatsoever; however, that does not mean that sleeping for long hours is a healthy habit. I know a person who's a chain smoker and who has not given up smoking even though he's past seventy. He's as fit as a fiddle and hasn't developed lung cancer or any other disease, as yet. Does that mean that since smoking didn't have much affect on the health of one particular person, others should follow suit and not give up smoking? Think about it.

  4. Hey Aparna,

    Great article, have featured it in the blog carnival as well :-D


  5. Smriti6:45 PM

    too much sleep will do this. Too much sleep on a regular basis will also make you go insane, same as if you don't get enough sleep. And the more you sleep, the more tired you will feel in the long run

    How to get rid of the headache? Take a long hot shower if possible - the steam will de-clog you and clear your head a little. Ideally, you should go jogging for 10 minutes, then take the shower - you'll be fine after that

  6. Anonymous2:25 AM

    I'm a 43 year old male, 235lbs, 5'10".
    I usually sleep 8 - 10 hours per night, not solid. I'll toss and turn here and there. Do I feel relaxed when I wake up? Usually not. I went for a sleep study and found I have mild sleep apnea when I sleep on my back, but I never sleep on my back!! I love to sleep though. My bed in comfy. If I slept less I tire easily. I don't know what to think of this article. It looks like I'm going to die at an earlier age if I keep sleeping 10 hours per night. I think it's hard to generalize this type of study. To each is own I say.

  7. Rajendra9:38 AM

    Having a good night sleep is very important in keeping the skin healthy. Did you know that 1 night lack of sleep could make us look twice older?

  8. Pradumna5:36 PM

    Firstly - yes, too much sleep will do this. Too much sleep on a regular basis will also make you go insane, same as if you don't get enough sleep. And the more you sleep, the more tired you will feel in the long run

  9. Alaka8:44 AM

    It definitely makes me feel like crap. I have a hard time snapping out of it so I eat a lot of carbs to try and get me out of the funk.

  10. i sleep 9-10 everyday. I wake and feel like crap.
    is it possible that people make stuff up to keep people alert for more than 80% of their entire life? I think so.

  11. Great information you got here. I've been reading about this topic for one week now for my papers in school and thank God I found it here in your blog. I had a great time reading this.

  12. I have learned this from a long time but also depends on each person's body and mind. Thanks, it was useful. You can always take a break and travel to resolve your issues.


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