There Is Such a Thing As Getting Too Much Sleep—Here's Why
Did you do your best to catch up on sleep this weekend? No? Well, turns out not sleeping in may be for the best.
Contrary to popular wisdom, new studies are finding that sleep (or at least, too much of it) can actually have negative health impacts. Yes, despite all of the rhetoric surrounding the golden rule of eight hours per night, you actually might be better off with a little bit less.
According to physician and nutrition expert John McDougall, sleep is actually a "depressogenic" agent, meaning that too much of it can cause depressive feelings in people. This is especially true if you're using sleep as a tactic for avoiding responsibilities (we've all been there). When you do finally emerge from the covers, it can often feel harder to switch gears and get moving. Additionally, Inc. reports that "oversleeping can actually stifle creativity, due to feeling sluggish and groggy upon waking."
That is not to say that we should all suddenly convert to the night owl lifestyle and exhaust ourselves completely. After all, healthy sleep hygiene is crucial for all sorts of things, including sharp memory, creative problem solving, and yes, resistance to a number of chronic diseases and health problems.
Nevertheless, the findings shed light on the case-by-case nature of finding what works best for each of us. If you've been sleeping eight or more hours every night but still can't hit the ground running in the morning, consider scaling back and waking up an hour or so earlier (perhaps hitting an exercise class while you're at it, or at least sipping on a cup of hot water with lemon).
Make sure the hours you do sleep count with one of these cute eye pillows.
How many hours do you sleep every night? Do you have any tips for getting great sleep?