Getting a good night of sleep is crucial to your health and feeling good during your day. However, while you may know that not getting enough sleep poses certain health risks, you may not realize that getting too much sleep can also have adverse health effects. Researchers don't seem to be totally sure why getting too much sleep causes these effects, but they do point out that getting more than seven or eight hours of sleep can be detrimental to your health.
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According to a September 24, 2007 article by CBC Health News, a study by the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School suggests that getting too much sleep may increase the risk of early death due to cardiovascular disease. Study participants who increased their amount of sleep to more than seven hours each night were twice as likely to die within 11 to 17 years due to cardiovascular disease than the participants who remained at seven hours of nightly sleep.
If you sleep more than nine hours every night, your risk of developing diabetes increases by 50 percent, according to an October 14, 2008 article by CBS News. Scientists aren't exactly sure why the risk becomes higher, but indications may point to underlying health problems that cause diabetes and lead to oversleeping.
You're probably already familiar with the feeling of being groggy and drowsy from too much sleep. Most people experience this feeling when they sleep in on the weekends, causing a disruption to their normal weekday sleep patterns. In an October 20, 2009 CNN Health article, Dr. Daniel Kripke, co-director of Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in La Jolla, California, states that people who try to catch up on sleep during the weekends often feel worse -- a condition referred to as "sleep drunkenness" -- although the reason why this occurs is not completely clear. In sleep drunkenness, you feel like you're caught somewhere between being awake and being asleep.
According to CBS News, other effects of oversleeping include an increased risk of headaches, back pain and mental disorders such as depression. Depressed people may feel like sleeping more, and sleeping more can in turn exacerbate depression. The same is true if you suffer from chronic back pain and headaches. You may feel like sleeping off a headache or back pain, but sleeping too much can actually cause your headache or back pain to become worse.