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Is it bad to sleep a lot?

21 Sep 2021

 

Finally: the weekend comes after a week of sleeping badly and working a lot, the pleasure of being able to sleep without setting an alarm ... But could that long-awaited pleasure be harmful to your health?

We unveil you why sleeping a lot (or too much) is bad for us.

What happens when you sleep more than necessary?

Numerous studies agree that when the necessary sleeping time is exceeded (which varies by age), rest stops being restorative and it becomes a light one, like when you sleep too little.

Although it is said that all this can cause other diseases, the truth is that excess sleep is not its direct cause, but one more circumstance which can either generate bad life habits that cause these diseases or being an indicative that these problems already exist.

Primary hypersomnia or sleeping too much affects:

  1. The mood, since during sleep the production of serotonin is altered (for this reason, diseases such as depression are closely linked to both hypersomnia and insomnia).
  2. The possible development of diabetes, as sugar levels in blood rise.
  3. Brain activity and ability to concentrate. In some cases it produces the sensation of being zombie and slow, although the delusion of increased productivity and energy can also be created, but this is just a rebound effect of lack of sleep.
  4. Metabolic disturbances due to less physical activity, which can lead to obesity.
  5. Cardiovascular diseases, such as negative changes in cholesterol, which is a risk factor for these.

How much should you sleep?

This question does not have a single answer: As mentioned above, the requirements of each person are different depending on factors such as age.

-Babies need about 20 hours of sleep a day. This is because their body is in the greatest developmental phase of its life, with rapid and exponential growth.

-Teenagers, between 8 to 9 hours a day for the same reason: their body is growing and needs rest to restore its functions.

-While adults need between 6 to 8 hours per day, so any time over that limit would not be too good.

Anyway, always keep in mind that these figures refer to people with regular working habits and that they sleep well at night (which honestly, are the minority). So those people who by their profession sleep 5 or 6 hours a day, will need more hours to sleep on the weekend, compensating for the lack of sleep during the week.

And regarding naps, they should not exceed 90 minutes. Yes, I know, some say that "the good nap" lasts 3 hours, but this can be a huge indicator of a bad night's sleep or even a sleep disorder.

The way and the amount in which you should sleep is not a certain science: each person has different circumstances that lead them to rest in different ways, even some circadian rhythms and a different chronotype. If you want to know more about it, click on the link.

 

So, to rest! (But not too much…)

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