You've been told from a very young age that you should never lack sleep to be at your best during the day. That is why, until now, you made it a point of honour to sleep very long nights. But what about the opposite: can too much sleep affect your health? Read on to discover many interesting facts and tips on this subject!
Is it possible to sleep too much?
The case of heavy sleepers
We often hear about "heavy sleepers", which sleep specialist Sylvie Royant-Parola defines as individuals who generally need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night. These include young adults. On the other hand, they are very uncommon in the 35-54 age group, as their professional and social lives limit their sleep time.
Heavy sleepers are perfectly functional during the day with such hours of sleep. They are also to be differentiated from people who have a lack of sleep to make up for, for example during the weekend after a week full of short nights.
The case of hypersomnia
Dr. Royant-Parola also points out that if they exceed 11 hours of sleep per night, the sleepers concerned may be suffering from hypersomnia. It is a condition in which you feel excessive sleepiness, which can be divided into two types:
Primary hypersomnia, also known as central hypersomnia, the origins of which are complex.
Secondary hypersomnia, which is more common, is the result of an external condition that causes you to have to sleep more.
While the primary form in its three known types (narcolepsy, Kleine-Levin syndrome and idiopathic hypersomnia) is clearly pathological, the secondary form can be related to less "exceptional" factors (e.g., severe sleep deprivation, exhaustion, cessation of stimulants, or excessive use of sedatives). In some cases, it may even be normal, such as during the first trimester of pregnancy in some women.
What are the consequences of sleeping too much?
Whether you like to sleep or suffer from hypersomnia, too much sleep can have real and negative consequences on your health. In fact, according to a Chinese study published in Neurology, sleeping too much at night or during the day could increase the risk of a cardiovascular accident.
This study involved a statistically significant sample (31,750 people), with an average age of 62 years and no history of stroke or serious medical conditions. The authors of the study found that participants who slept 9 hours or more at night were 23% more likely to have a stroke than those who slept 7 to 8 hours. Among the sample with more than 9 hours of sleep per night, those who slept more than 90 minutes during the day had an 85 per cent greater risk of stroke than those who slept a good night's sleep and took short naps during the day. These results confirm those of another British study published in the scientific Journal of the American Heart Association. This study concluded that individuals who get 10 hours of sleep each night as usual have a 30% higher risk of dying prematurely from a stroke compared to those who get a normal amount of sleep (7 to 8 hours per night).
Some tips for getting quality sleep without sleeping too much
So, if you sleep too much, increased cardiovascular risks are a reality. But how do you get the right amount of sleep? Answer: bet on quality sleep! In fact, the Chinese study above mentions the importance of getting the right amount of sleep, since the individuals who participated in the study and who said they suffered from poor quality sleep had a 29% higher risk of having a stroke.
Here are some brief tips from Polysleep to maintain/improve the quality of your sleep:
Get enough sleep (usually 7 to 8 hours a night for an adult).
Go to bed as soon as you feel tired at night.
Go to bed and get up at the same time.
Do not eat too much at night.
Limit stimulants such as coffee or tea, and if possible, avoid them at the end of the day.
Relax in the evening with a suitable activity, such as reading.
Sleep in the best possible conditions in a quiet room (limited noise pollution), at the right temperature (18-19°C) and without screens. Indeed, the blue light emitted by the screens of electronic devices interferes with sleep by blocking the secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin!
Conclusion: too much sleep is risky for your health, but you can avoid it!
So, too much sleep presents real risks on the cardiovascular level. However, by promoting quality sleep and a sleep duration that is within the norm for your age group, you can avoid having to extend your sleep hours to compensate for the fact that you don't sleep well at night. If, on the other hand, your bed is the cause of your sleep problems, consider replacing it with one of our foam mattresses!
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