You probably know that sleep shortage results in physical and mental complaints. But do you know that it’s too bad for your health to sleep too much? The “too” in too much actually says enough. Everywhere “too” stands for is not good!
Sleep shortage and sleep abundance
In our busy society, many people struggle to get enough sleep. As a result, there is little or no attention to the consequences of excessive sleep. But what turns out to be too much sleep is associated with the same complaints as those caused by sleep deprivation! Both sleep deprivation and sleep abundance increase the chance of chronic middle-aged illnesses.
A large-scale study in the US has shown that excessive sleep can have serious health implications. Like a sleep shortage, it can cause diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The study of sleep abundance
Nearly 55,000 people participated in this research. Men and women over 45 years old from 14 different US states. All of them had participated in a continuous survey / panel for collecting health data. The researchers defined 10 hours or more sleep as too much sleep, 7-9 hours as normal sleep time, and 6 hours or less if too little sleep. Not surprisingly, a sleep shortage proved to be much more common than a sleep surplus. It was remarkable that both a sleep shortage and a sleep surplus could be linked to an increased chance of the same chronic disease!
Outcomes of the research
Nearly 1/3 of all participants (31.1%) gave up to sleep less than 6 hours a night. The majority (64.8%) slept 7 to 9 hours, thus falling within the norm for a good sleep time. Then there is a spacious 4% over that indicated more than 10 hours a night. I assume you did not have the option to enter between 6-7 and between 9-10 hours. Then the research would miss some hours!)
The effects of sleep surplus
Both the participants who slept too little and the participants who slept too much found an increased chance of stroke and heart disease .Both groups also found an increased risk of diabetes and obesity . In addition, the people who slept too much and who slept less likely to have a frequent occurrence of mental complaints and stress . (and frequent visitors defined as 14 of the 30 days (or more) in a bad mental state. What was considered “bad mental state” I do not dare to say and overall it seems to me very difficult to conclude concrete conclusions. The fact is that different people have been discovered with the group who had a normal sleep time!
And finally, people who sleep too much had a higher risk of stroke, diabetes, coronary heart disease ( coronary artery disorders, constrictions) than people who slept too little. Is it a chronic sleep sleep NOG more dangerous than a sleep shortage ?! That seems to be true, although there are probably other negative consequences that are (alone or more) caused by a sleep shortage.
Researchers are also careful when drawing conclusions. They indicate that the relationship between an unhealthy sleeping pattern and mental and physical complaints is very complicated. Thus, much more study is needed on the relationship between sleep patterns and chronic diseases before we can draw concrete conclusions.
The negative effects of a sleep abundance are less known (and investigated) than the effect of a sleep deprivation. Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between too much sleep and certain complaints, and that they may even be worse than with a sleep shortage.
Complaints related to sleep abundance
- Several studies have shown that sleep abnormalities increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic problems , some studies (as above) even show greater risk in people who sleep too much compared to people with sleep deprivation.
- Cardiovascular problems (heart and blood vessels), such as heart disease and high blood pressure, are both associated with poor sleep patterns. In a large-scale study of 71,000 women, a sleep abnormality has been shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease.Furthermore, research has shown that abnormal sleep, ie both sleep deprivation and sleep abundance, almost doubled the risk of cardiovascular disease!
- Sleep abundance has also been associated with an accelerated decrease in cognitive ability at a later age. (the ability to absorb and process knowledge). Both a major Spanish university and an American university have researched here. They monitored 2700 men and women aged between 60 and 70 years for three years. 40% of this group was defined as long sleepers (in this study 9 hours or more). What turned out All types of sleepers showed a decrease in cognitive ability, but in long sleepers the decrease was many times higher. The decrease in cognitive ability in people who slept longer than 9 hours a night was twice the size of normal sleepers. (Unfortunately, the decline in people with sleep deprivation is not mentioned).
Optimum sleep time
There is still much to be learned about the relationships between sleep and health. The more it becomes known, the more it becomes clear that there is certainly such an optimal sleep time , and that it appears to be between 7 and 9 hours somewhere.
Sleep shortage is becoming an increasingly big issue in our societies, which should be more attention. However, even though it is much less common, we must also face the consequences of sleeping too late.
Sleep time should not be confused with sleep quality. It is not the case that the longer you sleep, the better you sleep. It is about the quality of your sleep. A healthy sleep time (effective sleep time) is thus somewhere between 7 and 9 hours a night.
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