Are You Sleeping Too Much?

I recently wrote about the benefits of making sure you get enough sleep. But what can happen if you’re sleeping too much? Can extra sleep at night help you feel less tired in the day? Is there a problem with having too much sleep? Let’s find out!

As I said before, adults need 7-9 hours sleep per night for their bodies to function properly. Some say that closer to 7 hours is better, and is linked with lower rates of mortality and illness. We all differ, however, and some may find that they need longer than 7 hours to feel their best!

Over 9 hours sleep per night is considered excessive. I’m not talking about the odd weekend lie-in, but regularly getting over nine hours sleep each night. Research has linked excessive sleeping to a range of health issues including depression, higher risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, increased inflammation and pain, and impaired fertility.

Sleep also has a huge impact on our brains, so too much or too little can affect mood, memory, mental health, and possibly increase chances of developing dementia.

Of course, the studies that provided this data are based on groups of people and their habits and health, so a dilemma presents itself- does oversleeping cause these issues, or do the issues cause oversleeping?

However, a controlled study on extended sleep found that when adults slept more than normal, they tended to report an increase in fatigue and irritability, along with a desire to sleep more- leading to a cycle of oversleeping.

Here’s some tips on how to avoid oversleeping:

  • Get into a routine cycle of 7-9 hours per night, including weekends.
  • Open the curtains so you’re exposed to bright sunlight when you awaken- this will help you wake up.
  • After 4pm, avoid napping, excessive caffeine, or spending too much time looking at a screen.