Sleep is great, it's important (duh), but oversleeping is just as bad for you as not getting enough sleep. Why then, is it so easy to sleep in and end up oversleeping?


Man Sleeping on a Couch
Photo by:Xavi Gomez/Cover - Getty Images

Why Do We Oversleep?

There are a number of reasons for getting a little too much sleep. It's not a big deal if it just happens once in a while (you know, the bed is just really comfy in the morning, and you decide to go back to sleep even though you don't need it). It becomes a problem when you regularly find yourself sleeping in later and later, and it's harder to get up in the morning.

Some people can't help their oversleeping. Medical conditions like hypersomnia (which causes extreme sleepiness through the day, and a need for what feels like constant sleep), sleep apnea, or depression will cause you to sleep more than usual.

There are those who don't suffer from those medical conditions, but find themselves sleeping in more and more (like me). When you start sleeping in more, it becomes a vicious cycle. It's almost like your body feels like it needs more sleep and you're more tired, just because you have become used to sleeping longer. It's a tough habit to break, but it needs to be broken.

What Happens When We Oversleep?

There's tons of health risks associated with oversleeping. Studies have linked getting too much sleep with diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease, and a handful of other health issues. A lot of these are the same health problems that have been linked to not getting enough sleep.

How Do You Break the Cycle?

If there's a medical reason to why you oversleep (like depression or sleep apnea), obviously that's something to bring up to your doctor.

If you're oversleeping just because you've become used to sleeping in, it's a tough habit to break, but it's possible. Start by slowly cutting back on your sleep. If you've gotten used to sleeping for 10 hours, go down to nine and a half hours for a week. When that alarm goes off in the morning get up! It's really hard to do, but it's something you have to do to break the cycle.

Plan something as soon as you get up (something that will make you want to get up and do it). That will make it easier to get out of bed. Even if it's something as simple as checking your Facebook, or reading a chapter out of your favorite book. Make it like your reward (that way, if you don't get up when you're supposed to, you don't get to enjoy what you wanted).

I've been getting used to sleeping in too much lately, and I'm trying to cut back as well. I've noticed with the more sleep I get, I'm becoming more lazy, I want to sleep even more and I know I don't need it. It's a tough habit to break, but in the end it will be worth it. Besides, I can sleep all I want when I'm dead, right?!




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