How Can Sleeping Too Much Be Bad?

We all know how important sleeping is, right? And, as we leave childhood, sleeping becomes more of a reward than a punishment!

But did you know how can sleeping too much be bad? Yes, you read that right! You can get too much of a good thing – and that includes sleep. Read on for everything we know about this…

How Can Sleeping Too Much Be Bad

How Can Sleeping Too Much Be Bad

You would be forgiven for thinking that the more you sleep, the better you will be – but it actually doesn’t work like this.

We all know that not getting enough sleep is bad, but did you know that getting too much can be just as bad for you?

Consistently oversleeping can be a sign of a condition called hypersomnia, which is linked to quite a few health conditions.

This condition causes people to feel so tired during the day that they may need naps, yet still sleeping an unusually long time at night.

Of course, excessive sleeping is not always linked to a health condition – using certain substances like drugs and alcohol can cause the same symptoms.

Existing depression can also cause an increased need for sleep, and for the person to sleep abnormally long times, bot day and night.

If you are always oversleeping and yet still waking up tired, you may be at risk of a startling number of health problems.

Longer sleeping patterns are increasingly linked to  depression, inflammation, heart disease, obesity and and increased risk of diabetes.

If you are worried, and you are sleeping more than 9 hours a night every night, then it is always worth a trip to your GP to get checked out.

How Much Sleep Is Too Unhealthy?

Let’s get one thing straight – sleep is definitely healthy, and definitely good for you. We should all be aiming for around 7-8 hours per night.

This is the generally accepted norm – however, it is very hard to determine how much sleep an individual should have.

Lots of factors should be considered, such as your age; physical exercise; the demands of your job; stress – as well as many other things.

Around 8 hours per night is considered the gold standard, but try not to worry too much if you get slightly more or less than this. We all have busy lives, right?

If, however, you find that you are often sleeping for more than 9 hours per night, and still waking up groggy, it might be time to have a chat with your doctor.

Oversleeping once or twice, especially if you’ve had a late night for whatever reason, is nothing too unusual.

But if this oversleeping is a constant pattern for you, it is not only no fun, but it can also be putting your health at risk.

Try to keep a consistent bedtime routine, with plenty of healthy sleep practises, and you should be sleeping a normal amount and feeling rested. If not, see if there is anything your doctor can do to help.

This interesting video goes through all thee numbers and percentages of the effects of different hours of sleep:


Why Does Oversleeping Make You Tired?

It’s so frustrating isn’t it – surely you should be feeling more awake and refreshed, but instead you feel worse!

Well, this is because, when you oversleep, not all of you is actually sleeping. Your body has a very clever mechanism, called the circadian pacemaker, that sets your daily cycle.

This is found in the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that controls things like sweat, hunger, thirst – and sleep.

If you ignore this little internal alarm clock and roll over to go to sleep again, bear in mind that signals will have already been sent to your body, and most of your cells will have been working hard hours before you wake up!

Oversleep fatigue is so similar to a hangover that scientists have dubbed it “sleep drunkenness” – and it really does feel like this!

Try to avoid the extra grogginess that comes with your weekend lie in, and rise and shine a little closer to normal waking hours… Just a little; make sure you still get that extra cup of tea.

What Does Oversleeping Do To Your Brain?

We all know that feeling – some people call it a “sleep hangover” – when you have had more sleep than usual, and you wake up more tired!

Instead of leaving you feeling sharp and refreshed, oversleeping can make you feel fuzzy and groggy.

One of the most common symptoms of oversleeping is “brain fog,” that awful feeling where you feel like you’ve actually had no sleep at all.

Studies are starting to emerge that show that sleeping more than 8 hours a night can actually reduce your cognitive ability and reasoning skills.

Just about the biggest effect on your brain caused by oversleeping is mental health. People who sleep more than 8 hours regularly report significantly more incidences of depressive episodes.

How Do You Know If You Sleep Too Much?

There is no hard and fast rule for how much you should sleep – a lot of it depends on you as an individual, and on your lifestyle.

However, as a general rule, we should be sleeping between 7 and 9 hours per night, consistently.

If you notice that you are starting to sleep more than 9 hours a night on a regular basis, and are still waking up feeling tired, it may be time to seek help.

Your GP will be able to work out if you have a health problem or if you need to simply adjust your lifestyle.

Oversleeping can cause as many problems as not sleeping enough, so if you are one way or the other then try to find ways to normalise your sleep cycle.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – too much sleeping can be as bad as not enough sleep – who knew? Hopefully you now have a better understanding as to why.

If you feel that you are sleeping too much and you are starting to suffer because of it, you are not alone – but you should take steps to get yourself onto a more sensible sleep schedule.

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