Motherhood trained me to be able to function on very little sleep. As most parents of infants can relate, there were times in my life when I felt lucky if I stayed sleeping for two consecutive hours. My children are grown now, but I still don’t sleep a lot — five or six hours per night on average, sometimes less but rarely (as in, never) more. I have five teens living at home full-time right now, and they love to sleep in.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep on a consistent and regular basis is definitely good for your health. God designed our bodies so that sleep plays a vital role in our mental and physical health and overall quality of life. There’s a difference between “sufficient amounts of sleep” and “sleeping in all the time,” however.
Too much sleeping can be a health risk
There’s something to be said for the luxury of sleeping in. If you know there are no obligations the following day that necessitate rising at a specific time, you can stay asleep as long as you want. When you finally do open your eyes, you might stretch and say, “Ahhh, this is the life.” If sleeping in becomes a chronic habit in your life, there can be several adverse effects.
Another word for chronically sleeping in is “oversleeping” — if you oversleep, you’re placing yourself at risk for diabetes, heart disease or even, death. Many researchers give two thumbs down to the idea that the more sleep a person gets, the better off he or she will be. Studies show that spending excessive amounts of time sleeping is hazardous to your health. Researchers define “excessive” as “more than nine hours at a time” for adults ages 18-64.
Find your sweet spot
No two human beings are exactly alike. What equates to a sufficient and healthy amount of sleep for you might not be enough or might be too much for another person. Researchers say the goal is to find your “sweet spot,” meaning the consistent amount of sleep you need to be mentally and physically healthy.
Oversleeping is associated with numerous ill-health conditions, including cognitive impairment, depression, increased inflammation and pain, infertility problems and more. One study’s results stated that excessive amounts of sleep also increases the risk for developing degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Keep Overall Health in Mind
When it comes to mental and physical health, getting adequate amounts of sleep is critical to your well-being. Is it bad to sleep in? The answer is that it depends on your lifestyle and current life circumstances. If you aren’t feeling well, for instance, a few extra hours of sleep for several days in a row can provide much needed rest to help you recuperate.
On the other hand, if you never feel rested when you wake up, regardless how many hours sleep you got the night before, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. Also, if you do feel refreshed and have energy but have gotten into the habit of always wanting to sleep in after nine, 10 or more hours of sleep, you might want to make some changes. Excessive sleeping over an extended period of time may not only keep you from living your best life but can have serious negative effects on your health, as well.
In case my kids read this: Sorry, guys! lol