Sure, snagging a couple extra hours of sleep on the weekend is an elusive and highly valued opportunity for most mothers, and the occasional afternoon nap never hurt anyone, right? Getting enough sleep is so crucial, especially for us mothers, that many people do not stop to consider the other side of the spectrum. However, oversleeping can cause just as many issues as insomnia. We are all familiar with the common problems associated with too little sleep, and the medications, treatment options, and home cures that are widely used and available. But oversleeping can be just as serious, and have just as many side effects, so if you find yourself wailing away at that snooze button, it might be time to learn what you can do!
Contrary to popular belief, we cannot simply chalk up oversleeping to laziness. There are several medical conditions that can affect how much we sleep. The most popular include:
- Diabetes: Studies have revealed that people who sleep more than nine hours per night are 50 percent more likely to suffer from diabetes.
- Hypersomnia: A disorder where people suffer constant or recurrent episodes of extreme exhaustion
- Depression: It is estimated that over 15 percent of people who suffer from depression also sleep more than nine hours a night.
- Sleep apnea: A condition where breathing involuntary stops at intervals throughout the night
However, oversleeping isn't always caused by an underlying problem. If you regularly miss out on the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night, chances are your body is going to need to play catch-up. Also, elements like the weather, anxiety levels, and physical activity can impact how much sleep you get as well. If you are stressing about a big project at work, chances are you won't be getting nearly enough sleep the night or two leading up to the due date. There are a whole host of symptoms and side effects that accompany too much sleep, however. These include, but are not limited to:
- Inactivity: You might think that being overly rested would give you that necessary charge of energy to get up off your butt and hit the gym, but unfortunately that is not the case. Oversleeping often results in grogginess and lack of energy even during waking hours.
- Headaches: One of the most popular complaints from people who oversleep is headaches and migraines. This has to do with the effect that oversleeping has on the neurotransmitters in our brain.
- Back pain: If you are prone to back pain, especially lower back pain, then oversleeping can actually exaggerate your condition. All that time spent on a mattress does little to help you stretch out and work through any discomfort.
- Heart disease: Although the cause is still not yet known, sleep studies have revealed that coronary heart disease and oversleeping are linked in some way. People who oversleep regularly have a 38 percent increased chance of suffering from heart disease!
- Foul mood: For all you Negative Nancies out there, you may want to check and see if your foul mood has to do with your sleeping patterns! People who oversleep often wake up feeling discouraged and frustrated that they have wasted precious time. Want to boost your mood? Click here to find out how!
- Fatigue: Ironically, another common complaint of over-sleepers is that they wake up feeling tired, lethargic, and angry! Plus, they are way more likely to give in to their exhaustion and become repeat offenders when it comes to hitting the snooze button.
- Depression: Feeling tired, dejected and inactive for days on end can wear on even the most diligent mothers. Often, people who fall prey to bad sleeping habits are also eventually diagnosed with some form of depression, as they are caught up in the endless cycle of sleep and inactivity.
>> Read more: 5 Things You're Doing to Sabotage Your Sleep Patterns
If you think that you may be falling into a pattern of oversleeping, then have no fear! There are a variety of ways you can go about repairing your relationship with your alarm clock. Most importantly, remember that sleep is a lot like food and air: our body needs it to function correctly, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental to our health! Exercise control, and you will be on the right track! Check out our sources here: National Sleep Foundation, Health Guidance, American Sleep Apnea Association.