Doctors believe oversleeping may lead to heart disease, diabetes and an increased risk of death, but they acknowledge that depression and poverty, which are linked to oversleeping, could also shoulder the blame for the health issues, according to WebMD. Researchers are not sure how much oversleeping, poverty or depression play in the negative health consequences. For example, people who cannot afford health care may have undiagnosed diseases that make them sleep more.
Several health conditions can cause oversleeping, such as obstructive sleep apnea and hypersomnia, explains WebMD. People with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing and wake up repeatedly, requiring more sleep. Hypersomnia is a medical disorder that makes people sleepy during the day, and also causes anxiety, low energy and memory loss.
Certain kinds of medications can cause people to oversleep, reports WebMD. Drinking alcohol and depression can also increase the amount of time a person sleeps.
The right amount of sleep a person should get varies throughout their lifespan, explains WebMD. Age, activity level, health and lifestyle dictate how much sleep someone needs. When a person is under a lot of stress or is ill, he may require more sleep. Experts say that most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.