The effects of sleeping too much can vary according to certain factors, and the definition of "too much" will vary according to one's age. A child, for example, is likely to sleep much longer than an adult; an adult should usually sleep between seven and nine hours per night, so any adult sleeping more than that is often labeled as sleeping too much. Some of the conditions that may result from oversleeping include depression, diabetes, lowered energy levels, heart disease, back problems, and even death. Some of these results of oversleeping may also be the cause of the oversleeping.
Connections between sleeping too much and socioeconomic status have been made through studies as well. People of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to oversleep because of undiagnosed illnesses or conditions that can lead to sleeping too much. They are less likely to seek treatment for these issues, which can in turn lead to more negative side effects of oversleeping. Depression, too, can be both a cause of oversleeping and a result of it. People who are depressed are more likely to succumb to too much sleep, and many studies have found that sleep deprivation can actually help alleviate depression to a certain degree.
Sleeping too much can also lead to back pain or exacerbate existing back pain. In the past, doctors would recommend bed rest for back problems, but now doctors recognize the need for more physical exercise to strengthen back muscles; weaker muscles are more likely to become tired quickly, and muscles tighten when they are tired. Strengthening the muscles prevents tightening, which can lead to muscle strains and tears, as well as other spinal issues. Oversleeping allows the muscles to weaken and tighten; this condition will be exacerbated if the person does not participate in a regular workout routine.
The likelihood of obesity is also much higher in people who sleep too much, as are conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and anxiety. Once again, these conditions can be a case or a result of sleeping too much, though in many cases, doctors do not understand the correlation between a too much sleep and the problems that trigger it or result from it. People who sleep too much, for example, are at higher risk of death than people who sleep an appropriate amount each night. The correlation is not understood, but studies support this information.