You’d think a nice, long 10-hour snoozefest would be more refreshing than a weekend at the world’s most lavish spa—a sort of sleep vacation.
Can’t you just picture it? You’d wake up relaxed, restored, and ready to bounce right out of bed and meet the world, right?
Well, my friend, I can tell you firsthand that’s not always what happens. Just the other day, after helping my parents move, I slept until nearly noon.
I didn’t bounce out of bed. In fact, I felt more like I had bounced on my head instead.
Now, new research reveals there IS such a thing as too much sleep. The occasional long night of snoozing like my conk out the other day won’t cause any permanent damage. But it could be a real problem if it’s happening night after night.
And in many ways, it’s as BAD for your BRAIN as sleeping too little.
So let’s consider this a wake-up call to take a closer look at our sleep habits. And figure out if something needs fixing before it’s too late.
TOO MUCH sleep is as bad as TOO LITTLE
You know, missing out on sleep is bad. It can mess with everything from your metabolism to your heart. In fact, earlier this year, I wrote about how lost sleep could DOUBLE your heart risk.
And falling WAY short on shuteye… getting four hours a night… can have a devastating impact on your brain. That’s hardly a surprise.
But what might be shocking is that sleeping even a little too much can be just as harmful. The new study finds that sleeping 10 hours a night is as bad as getting only four as far as your brain’s concerned.
Either one could speed you down the path toward cognitive decline. And that… ultimately… may lead to dementia.
The study finds either sleep habit can lead to declines in…
- language comprehension
- overall cognitive function
Now, past a certain age, many people suffer at least some slippage. But the study finds those with either of these two sleep issues have FASTER declines, which ultimately leads to even HIGHER risks.
The top 2 slumber-stealing suspects
There are dozens of potential reasons for common sleep problems, such as sagging melatonin or soaring stress.
But sleeping less than four hours or more than 10 is a different beast. That’s WAY out of whack, and a little melatonin probably isn’t going to do the trick.
There are TWO prime suspects in these “extreme” cases.
SLEEP SUSPECT #1: Your meds.
Many common drugs can turn your sleep habits inside out. Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, certain heart meds, decongestants, and more can make it almost impossible to drift off. Others, including different types of antidepressants, certain blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, and more, can leave you so wiped out you doze for days.
And when you take MORE meds, the effects can be magnified. In what can’t be a coincidence, this polypharmacy has also been linked repeatedly to cognitive decline and dementia.
SLEEP SUSPECT #2: Underlying disease.
Severe sleep problems are often marks of an undiagnosed chronic health condition such as heart disease, Parkinson’s, thyroid issues, apnea, and more.
For either suspect, the solution is to go see your doc ASAP. Tell him you’re snoozing too little or too much. See if you have a hidden health problem. And then go over ALL your meds to see what could be linked to your sleep issues and where you can cut back.
Ideally, work with a naturopathic or integrative physician who can help you get off any drugs you may not need. Plus, help you transition onto natural therapies that can take the place of any sleep-wrecking meds.