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Fabulous-Relative333 t1_jasldcp wrote

But is this causation or correlation? I'm way suspecting the latter.


ilanallama85 t1_jasllqo wrote

Seriously, these stats often pop up but I feel like there’s a lot of conflation between “sleeping too much is unhealthy” and “unhealthy people sleep too much.”


eldenrim t1_jat8iro wrote

Yeah but it's still good to know because if you're ill more than others and your sleep isn't average then you can either:

> Sleeping too much is unhealthy

Reduce sleep. Or

> Unhealthy people sleep too much

Investigate the underlying issue and then fix it, reducing sleep.

Which lays out a straightforward solution, if you investigate first then you'll cover both, so do that.

It's pretty actionable even if it's correlation.


MoonWispr t1_javy3ae wrote

I think the point is if you're consistently sleeping too much or too little it's likely (or always) caused by other factors that need to be dealt with. Work, health, etc.

Studies like this often suggest that simply forcing oneself to sleep more or less will just make things better all by itself. Without knowing the cause, this could even make things worse.

Edit: For example, some health conditions (like allergies) constantly exhaust the body and result in needing extended rest to recover. Not allowing yourself that rest, without dealing with the condition itself, will just make it worse.


eldenrim t1_jb06qmo wrote

Which is essentially what I'm saying, but that by trying and failing to correct your sleep, you'll know it's a deeper issue and can look at that.

But now, people with atypical sleep and immune issues that ignore one (or both) might be stirred into some reflection and subsequent action. The knowledge helps even if it's correlation, is all I mean.


ctorg t1_jat0627 wrote

Particularly with "too much sleep," it's usually a symptom of another health issue (like sleep apnea, depression, etc.), rather than the cause of health problems. There's very little evidence that excess sleep is detrimental in people who are healthy.


Clock586 t1_jat325b wrote

Too little sleep is causation. Too much sleep is correlation. My guess.


seaworthy-sieve t1_jaykp7w wrote

Or maybe people who get very little sleep are just also more likely to encounter infections — they might have small children in daycare, or do shift work in healthcare settings, etc etc


BerriesAndMe t1_jau0hg4 wrote

I'm in camp causation.. but I think the illness is affecting your sleep patterns and not the sleep patterns mkaing you sick.


Batmanbumantics t1_jauptps wrote

Pretty much. I've long term anxiety and depression which messes with your immune system. So yes, I can sleep for 17-20hours a day and I also catch every illness going. I get ill because of the immune wrecking mental health issues, not because I sleep a lot. Given depression and anxietys prevalence in the population, I'd imagine it played a role in these figures.


eldenrim t1_jat7pdq wrote

The causes of sleeping problems also cause issues with your immune system and focusing on fixing your sleeping problem will help even if it's correlation due to a shared cause.


InTheEndEntropyWins t1_jav6tad wrote

This is reverse causation. Those people that are ill or have sleep issues like sleep apnoea need more sleep. If those people had normal amounts of sleep they would have even worse health outcomes.


Sythus t1_jawqwsg wrote

Sometimes when you're sick you get terrible rest.

Sometimes when you're sick all you wanna do is rest.