From brain fog to poor concentration at work: This is EXACTLY what happens to your body when you oversleep – and it’s bad news for your waistline
- Sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo said too much sleep leads to low mood and fatigue
- She also said it can have negative effects on your concentration and waistline
- This is because sleeping more than 10 hours interferes with the circadian rhythm
- She said we need to be aiming for 7-9 hours as adults and you can aid good sleep
- She shared her 10-step bedtime routine, which includes diffusing lavender
A sleep expert has revealed exactly what happens to your body when you over-sleep or sleep for longer than ten hours – and it’s bad news for your concentration, mood, performance and waistline.
Sydney-based Olivia Arezzolo said while we often talk about the detrimental effect of too little sleep, it is possible to clock one too many hours in bed – and have this harm your health too.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Olivia shared why too much sleep won’t have you springing out of bed in the morning, and what happens to your body and why.
Sydney sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo (pictured) said while we often talk about the detrimental effect of too little sleep, it is possible to clock one too many hours in bed too
What happens to your mind and body when you sleep too much?
Feelings of mental and physical exhaustion
While the effects of insomnia are well-documented, Olivia explained that ‘hypersomnia’ or over-sleeping is as detrimental as under-sleeping.
‘Defined by sleeping more than ten hours, this essentially disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and this is problematic because the hormones governing this cycle also control our energy levels,’ Olivia told Daily Mail Australia.
As a result, she explained you might feel ‘mentally and physically exhausted’ during a day of work, which has other knock-on effects.
Olivia also said over-sleeping is bad because it throws off your natural circadian rhythm – which is controlled by our internal body clock and tells us when it’s time to wake up and go to bed.
‘When natural processes aren’t followed, your rhythms can be thrown off course and you can end up feeling even more fatigued than in the first place,’ Olivia said.
Lack of concentration and poor performance
How much sleep do you need?
* ADULTS: 7-9 hours
* OLDER ADULTS: 7-8 hours
* TEENAGERS: 8-10 hours
* CHILDREN: 9-12 hours
Source: Olivia Arezzolo
Of course, the knock-on effect of feeling mentally and physically exhausted is a lack of concentration and poor performance both at work and in our personal lives.
‘Research pinpoints hypersomniacs, compared to normal sleepers, are mentally two years older,’ Olivia said.
‘This translates to a slower processing speed, impaired memory, worse concentration and poor judgement.’
Further research highlights that participants who get a regular seven-hour sleep each night perform much better in cognitive tests than those who fluctuate between regular hours and over-sleeping.
If you over-sleep regularly, you’re likely to wake up groggy and in need of some time before you can get on with whatever needs doing with your day.
‘Research pinpoints hypersomniacs, compared to normal sleepers, are mentally two years older,’ Olivia said. This is because they have a slower processing time (stock image)
It’s not just our physical performance and mental capabilities which are affected, but our happiness too.
Olivia highlighted that when you sleep too much, the happiness hormone serotonin is altered, which in turn can contribute to conditions such as depression.
‘While a casual link cannot be made, studies show strong correlations between depression and hypersomnia,’ she said.
‘Forty per cent of adults with the condition also over-sleep.’
You’re far better off trying to aim for the same amount of sleep each evening, rather than trying to make up for lost shut-eye.
Aches and pains and headaches
If you think you’re experiencing aches, pains and even headaches from too much sleep, you’re not alone.
In fact, movement and circulation are absolutely key to healing aches and pains, and when you remain still for too long of a period, then you’re likely to be making yourself stiff and uncomfortable.
Headaches can also come about from sleeping too long past your usual breakfast time.
This could be because you are dehydrated, have low blood sugar levels or are even feeling the effects of no caffeine.
While this might sound dramatic, Olivia explained that too much sleep – like too little sleep – can have an effect on your waistline.
‘In terms of the body, exhaustion in a mental and physical capacity limits your ability to be active, and because of this research has found you’re 21 per cent more likely to be obese,’ she said.
What is Olivia Arezzolo’s 10-step bedtime routine?
1. Create a sleep sanctuary: Remove any blue light from iPhones and devices and keep your bedroom for sleep and relaxation.
2. Block blue light: Do not allow blue light into the bedroom and restrict this two hours from bedtime.
3. Set a goodnight alarm for your phone: At this point switch it off so you wake fully refreshed.
4. Diffuse lavender: Diffuse lavender either onto your pillows or throughout the room to promote relaxation.
5. Have an evening shower or bath: This helps to promote relaxation 45-60 minutes before bed.
6. Drink chamomile tea: Do this an hour before bed to make you calm.
7. Take a magnesium supplement: This helps the muscles to relax.
8. Practise gratitude: Think about what you are grateful for.
9. Try meditation: This can be useful to help you sleep.
10. Practise deep breathing: This makes it easier to sleep.
Source: Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia (pictured) shared how you can stop yourself from over-sleeping by creating the right kind of environment for sleep by getting rid of all tech and blue light and diffusing lavender
What can you do to stop over-sleeping?
There are a few ways to stop yourself from over-sleeping and get into a healthy sleep cycle.
Olivia said most importantly, it’s all about setting the right environment.
‘Try getting into bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning by setting a goodnight alarm and a morning alarm,’ she said.
If you struggle to go to sleep at a particular time, you could also aid feelings of sleepiness by getting rid of any tech in your bedroom and diffusing lavender in the bedroom to make you feel tired.
‘Avoid exposure to blue light right before you sleep as this will make you feel more awake,’ Olivia said.
You can even tweak what you do during the day to make sure you get the best night’s sleep, by making sure you eat light meals, get some fresh air and exercise.
To find out more about Olivia Arezzolo, you can visit her website here.
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