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Is Oversleeping Bad for Your Health?

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The Snowball Effect
Hypersomnia is crippling in and of itself, but that’s not the half of it—several large-scale studies have indicated that the condition can trigger a wide range of even more debilitating symptoms.

Coronary Heart Disease
In a survey of almost seventy-two thousand women, nurses at Brigham and Women Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, identified a 38 percent greater likelihood of developing coronary heart disease among women who slept nine to eleven hours per night, compared with women who got eight hours of sleep.

Diabetes
A study of almost nine thousand Americans pointed to a connection between sleep and a heightened risk of diabetes, WebMD notes. While the researchers did not establish a direct link, they did discover that people who got more than nine hours of sleep per night were 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than people who slept seven hours. This discrepancy suggests that while oversleeping might not cause diabetes on its own, it could reflect underlying medical issues that lead to individuals’ susceptibility to the disease.

Obesity
According to another study, people who slept nine to ten hours nightly had a 21 percent greater chance of becoming obese over the course of six years than people who slept seven to eight hours—even when the subjects’ food consumption and exercise habits were similar across the board.

Shortened Life Span
Perhaps the most alarming study of all illustrates the possibility that oversleeping leads to earlier death. In 2002, scientists from the American Cancer Society conducted the largest study to date on sleep patterns and mortality—polling 1.1 million Americans ages thirty and up over a six-year span—and found that people who slept eight hours each night were 12 percent more likely to die over the course of the study than their counterparts who slept for seven hours were; furthermore, even people who got only five hours of sleep had a longer life span than those who got eight hours or more. Based on these results, University of California, San Diego, psychiatry professor Daniel Kripke told the Independent that “individuals who now average 6.5 hours of sleep a night can be reassured that this is a safe amount of sleep. From a health standpoint, there is no reason to sleep longer.

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361 comments

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8:11AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

thanks

8:30PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

thanks

12:02PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I love sleeping lol

10:38AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Interesting

9:34AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

thanks

3:13AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

True, oversleeping as a habit can cause problems, but I imagine that - as with everything else - oversleeping in moderation can be good, or at least neutral for a person.
Thanks for the extra info Mel.

2:34AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I have the opposite problem of under sleeping.

11:00PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Now that I'm retired I sleep longer hours, some 8-9 hours. If I need to be out-and-about early, I feel better after an afternoon nap. I'm happy just listening to what my body tells me it needs. Moreover, my nightly dreams are extremely entertaining....

10:08PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Napping during the day is one of my favorite things to do. It just seems so decadent to curl up in bed with the sun shining bright. However, I don't have a problem feeling tired if I get a regular night sleep. I just enjoy curling up and relaxing.

6:39PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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