Surprising Side Effects Of Lying In Bed Too Much

If you've ever been tempted to curl up in bed and stay under the covers for a day (or a week), you're not alone. But lying in bed too much has more negative health consequences than you might expect. Sure, the occasional extra-long night of sleep, or taking a conference call from your bed once in a while won't hurt you, but spending a few days bedridden can quickly become unhealthy.

Of course, you likely first think about bedsores. These sores can form due to pressure on your skin from the mattress if you're forced to lie in bed due to injury or illness and aren't moving at all. But along with bedsores, you'll also experience a loss of muscle and a decrease in bone mass — and these are only a few of the possible physical side effects (via HuffPost). Getting up after a long time spent in bed — think days, not hours — could be tougher than you'd expect.

What about the mental side effects of staying in bed?

In 2014, a NASA study paid a man to spend 70 days lying down in bed, in order to see how his body reacted to prolonged bedrest. When he stood up after the last day, he nearly fainted. Not only does staying still for so long wreak havoc on your body, but staying still at a horizontal angle comes with even more problems (via Seeker).

The man nearly fainted because for 70 days of horizontal rest, his body was not interacting with gravity. This impacted his blood pressure, and when he stood vertical again, it was an abrupt shift. While resting, the blood in his body was also thickening. When muscles aren't worked, they will atrophy and get smaller, leading to a loss of muscle mass (via the Sun-Sentinel).

The subject's mental state was also a concern. In an article for Vice, the participant wrote, "I was certain that I was one bad day away from a mental breakdown."

While there's no harm in occasionally treating ourselves to a few extra hours of sleep here or there, being mindful of how long we're staying in bed will allow us to make sure we're getting enough physical and mental stimulation throughout the day.