Harmful Effects of Less Sleep and Oversleep on Your Health

Updated on June 25, 2021

You may have been feeling under the weather or you may have been lacking energy in the last couple of days. You may have had difficulty in processing thoughts, remembering things or focusing on certain activities. You may have been feeling tired and drained even after sleeping.

While these can be caused by a lot of factors, it might be a good idea to check on your sleeping pattern lately. Since sleep is hailed to be a major aspect of optimal health, it is essential to be aware and conscious of how yours is working out for you. There are a lot of possible cause and effect situations linked to sleeping. 

You may be feeling all these because of too much sleep or having too little of it. So which one is it? Are you sleeping less or too much? Let’s find out by looking at both situations. Let’s figure out how it works and what it does to your body. 

What Oversleeping Does to Your Body

There are a lot of people who oversleeps without them knowing. Sometimes, it can be caused by lifestyle choices, present circumstances, and sometimes it can be from health conditions. Generally, oversleeping is linked to a lot of conditions. Let’s take a look at each one.  

Poor Brain Function and Mental Health

When a person sleeps, waste byproducts are removed, neurotransmitters are balanced, and memories are processed in the brain. It is said that cognitive performance peaks at around seven hours of sleep. However, going beyond that causes lessened cognitive function and memory impairments. 

Sleeping for longer hours also increases the risk for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and more. As for mental health, oversleeping is a possible symptom of depression. Those who experience this usually have anxiety symptoms and persistent depression. \

Peaking Inflammation Factors

While a lot of factors contribute to chronic inflammation, oversleeping can play a role in it too. Those who over sleep put themselves at risk for higher chances of inflammation, and we all know that inflammation leads to conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and more. 

Amplified Pain

Pain can be caused by different conditions, but those who sleep longer have exacerbated perception of it. Those who sleep longer hours may also suffer from migraines, tension and headaches, also known as weekend headaches. 

Those who sleep longer hours are also at risk for having bed sores. More so, they are prone to experiencing back pain and other body pains if they spend long hours sleeping in an awkward position. Those who want better sleep can check out TheSleepAdviser.com

Higher Chances for Weight Gain

Research says that studies found a link between sleep and weight gain. Those who have slept for longer hours showed that they have gained a lot more weight than normal sleepers. It says that those who have gained weight may have had problems with being vulnerable to developing diabetes, thus, deducting that those who overslept were at risk for being obese and overweight. 

These are just some of the consequences of oversleeping. There are many other health problems that may develop if this continues overtime. On the other hand, sleeping less also has a cost. Let’s take a look at those too. 

What Sleeping Less Does to Your Body

Several causes can lead to sleep deprivation. This may be caused by an unhealthy diet, jet lag, stresses or health problems. Every person may experience insomnia or difficulty in falling or staying asleep, at some point in their lives. 

When you have insomnia, you may develop increased susceptibility to negative health conditions. It may even interfere with your productivity and personal relationships. If you haven’t heard about the implications of sleeping less, here is some important knowledge about it. 

More chances of acquiring medical conditions

When you sleep less, your body’s immune system deteriorates. Your organs and body systems may be compromised and may not function the way they are supposed to. A compromised immune system can make you susceptible to developing stroke, certain types of seizures, weak immune system, asthma attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and heart disease. 

Risk for development of mental health disorders

Those who do not sleep well develop imbalances in their hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged sleep deprivation can take a toll on your health as it may go beyond the physical aspect. It can also affect your mental health because it increases the risk for anxiety, depression, frustration and confusion. 

Possible causes of accidents

Sleep deprivation can affect your all functioning as a person. This can cloud your judgment, lessen your productivity, flatten your sex drive, and impair your memory. When all these combine with daytime sleepiness, your reflexes and balance may not be as sharp as how you are with enough sleep. It may leave you feeling tired and exhausted, thereby causing you to be at risk for falls, injuries and other types of accidents. 

Decreased life expectancy

Those who do not get enough sleep in a day have a 12% risk for death as compared to those who slept in normal hours. With the negative effects of insomnia and sleep deprivation, the body can only take so much. Prolonged weakened immune system and development of other health conditions can definitely lessen your life expectancy. Hence, it is important to get enough sleep in a day to keep your entire body working in its optimal level. 


Too much of anything is bad, hence, moderation in anything is necessary. This goes the same to the concept of sleep, a little or too much can have negative effects to your body. Now that you know the effects of both conditions, you can take this time to evaluate yourself. 

Those sleepless nights, daytime sleepiness, feelings of exhaustion, mood swings, back pains and other things that you have been feeling for the longest time may have been complications of your sleeping routine. If you realize that your sleep hygiene and pattern does not fall on the recommended range, now is the time to make a change. 

There are a lot of resources that can educate you on how to improve your sleep quality. You will be surprised to see positive changes in your overall functioning when you get enough sleep in a day. So start now and combat all the unnecessary stress you have been dealing with for a long time. 

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