Reviewed by Jennifer Martin, PhD
Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines about how oversleeping has been linked to a larger danger of illness and loss of life. Should you’re the type of one who commonly clocks greater than eight hours of slumber, these information tales have most likely made you marvel, “Why do I sleep a lot? And is it dangerous for me?”
On this story, sleep specialists aid you perceive the newest science. You’ll discover out what actually occurs if you oversleep, together with the way it impacts your well being.
(Spoiler: Likelihood is, you don’t have anything to fret about.)
How a lot is an excessive amount of sleep?
On common, most individuals want someplace between seven and 9 hours of sleep every evening. However that’s a median, not a good-health edict.
“As you begin to transfer out in both route, there are individuals who require barely extra and barely much less sleep,” says Chris Winter, MD, sleep specialist, writer of The Sleep Resolution and The Rested Little one, and co-author of Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.
Above (and under) common sleepers fall into three primary classes.
1. Individuals who want fewer than 7 hours of sleep
Known as Pure Quick Sleepers, these genetically-gifted of us don’t want as a lot sleep as the common individual.
Elevated ranges of a hormone known as orexin permits them to really feel spunky and clear-headed with simply 5 to 6 hours of shuteye.
Right here’s an vital caveat, although. Loads of individuals who get lower than seven hours aren’t Pure Quick Sleepers. Relatively, they skimp on sleep for different causes, starting from revenge-bedtime procrastination to parenthood to an “at all times on” work ethic.
Should you’re not genetically a Pure Quick Sleeper, skimping on sleep possible means you’ll both…
▶ really feel like rubbish the subsequent day
▶ received’t really feel like rubbish the subsequent day—however solely since you’re so used to the consequences of sleep deprivation that you just’ve now not bear in mind what it feels wish to be nicely rested
Along with the above, over time, your danger for coronary heart illness, most cancers, and sort 2 diabetes can go up as nicely.
(Extra about sleep and well being additional down within the story.)
2. Individuals who want greater than 9 hours of sleep
As a result of their genetic make-up, Pure Lengthy Sleepers often want 10, 11, or 12 hours in an effort to really feel refreshed. Their genetics additionally trigger them to really feel drained extra rapidly than different individuals.
Additionally on this longer-sleeping class: youngsters, youngsters, and lots of younger adults, all of whom want extra sleep so their our bodies can proceed to develop, says Jennifer Martin, PhD, Professor of Medication on the College of California, Los Angeles and in addition a co-author Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.
Sure prescription medicines may also enhance sleep time, says Dr. Martin.
“Normally this impact is reversed when the individual stops the treatment, and in some circumstances, the sleepiness is decreased as soon as the individual will get used to the treatment,” she says.
3. Individuals who want 13+ hours of sleep
Some individuals sleep 14, 17, 24 or extra hours with little or no interruption, and so they nonetheless wake feeling drained.
“Should you discover you’re one in every of these individuals, it may be a sign that there’s something improper along with your sleep high quality, not essentially the amount,” Dr. Winter says. For instance, sleep issues like sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt sleep, inflicting individuals to wake feeling unrefreshed.
Quite a lot of well being circumstances—together with epilepsy, Parkinson’s illness, and melancholy—may also result in hypersomnia, which is the lack to remain awake. Narcolepsy, one other hypersomnia situation, causes individuals to really feel drained on a regular basis, main them to go to sleep at inappropriate and harmful occasions, similar to whereas on a date or driving a automobile. These issues require medical remedy.
Should you suspect any of the above is true for you, it’s an important factor to say to your physician.
What occurs if you sleep an excessive amount of?
“For the common individual, if they’re sleeping, they most likely have to be sleeping,” says Dr. Winter.
That’s as a result of our our bodies all have a sleep set level—known as “homeostasis.” Get too little sleep one evening and your physique will reply by craving extra sleep the subsequent. Alternatively, you’ll have seen: Should you accumulate extra sleep than regular by sleeping in on a weekend, you’ll possible end up unsleeping later that night.
There are, nonetheless, some exceptions. Extra about these under.
(Discover out: Would YOU make an important sleep coach?)
Does oversleeping hurt your well being?
Regardless of the entire scary headlines, it’s possible that lengthy sleep itself poses little to no well being issues. That’s as a result of, in individuals who sleep greater than most, it’s usually the results of a continual well being drawback, not the trigger, finds analysis.1,2
Sometimes, the issue is bi-directional, that means the well being drawback disturbs sleep, which worsens the well being drawback, which results in worsened sleep, and the cycle continues.
These well being issues embody:
▶ Sleep issues like sleep apnea (the place respiratory repeatedly stops throughout sleep) and narcolepsy (which is characterised by extreme daytime sleepiness and sleep assaults)
▶ Continual fatigue syndrome
▶ Coronary heart illness
For the above circumstances, it’s vital to notice that oversleeping doesn’t trigger them. Relatively, it’s a symptom of them.
For instance, sleep apnea repeatedly wakes individuals, usually for temporary moments, in the course of the evening, which might result in hypersomnia (extreme sleepiness in the course of the day) in addition to a robust want to remain in mattress longer than eight hours or to take a nap in the course of the afternoon.
“When medical issues disturb sleep, it takes an individual an extended time frame to be sufficiently recovered,” says Dr. Martin.
Should you commonly get greater than 10 hours, and you are feeling energetic and clear headed in the course of the day, that’s nice! Get pleasure from your slumber with out worry. You probably don’t have anything to fret about.
However, when you spend your days craving a nap—drained, mind fogged, irritated, and resolution fatigued—there could also be an underlying challenge price exploring along with your physician.
(Be taught extra: Why individuals with insomnia swear by CBT-I.)
4 Sleep Habits That Enhance Sleep High quality
Should you’re fascinated by sleeping extra restfully, contemplate forming any of the next sleep habits.
Create a sleep oasis. When your sleep atmosphere makes you’re feeling protected and comfy, it’s simpler to your mind to chill out, permitting you to sleep extra deeply.
Block out mild. Your circadian rhythm responds to adjustments in mild. For most individuals, the darker the room, the higher they sleep. Should you can’t get your room as darkish as wanted, contemplate experimenting with a sleep masks that covers your eyes and blocks out mild.
Alter the temperature. Along with mild, your circadian rhythm additionally responds to adjustments in temperature, making you’re feeling sleepy as your physique cools down. Taking a sizzling tub or bathe earlier than mattress can trick your physique that it’s time to sleep because it’s cooling down. One other tactic: Set your thermostat so it reduces the ambient temperature by a pair levels at evening.
If sizzling flashes are conserving you awake, contemplate investing in cooling mattress pads or utilizing a fan. (Learn extra: Menopause and sleep).
Think about sleeping alone. A loud night breathing partner or lively pet can wake you repeatedly, inflicting you to want extra sleep to really feel rested.
(Learn extra: The best way to sleep higher.)
Can sleeping an excessive amount of make you drained?
Ever seen that you just really feel extra drained if you sleep in (say, on the weekends) than you do if you rise up early?
There are two possible causes for this phenomenon.
1. Oversleeping is usually a response to undersleeping
Some individuals sleep 10+ hours on the weekends as a result of they’re sleeping six or fewer hours in the course of the week.
“One motive individuals really feel drained after sleeping so much is that they nonetheless haven’t paid again their sleep money owed from prior nights,” says Dr. Martin. “In case you are very sleep disadvantaged, it takes a number of days to get again on observe and ‘catch up.’”
2. Sleeping in can disrupt sleep-wake signaling.
Should you often wake at 6 am, sleeping in on the weekends will disrupt your mind’s capacity to launch the neurochemicals wanted for that refreshed, ready-to-slay-the-world feeling.
“It’s actually extra about sleep timing than sleep quantity,” explains Dr. Winter. “The mind’s timing cues are being disrupted.”
Amongst these timing cues:
✅ Overhead and outside mild that units your mind’s circadian clock
✅ The blaring noise of your alarm clock that triggers the discharge of cortisol and different alertness chemical substances
✅ Conversations with housemates that nudge you to “get up! assume!”
✅ That feeling of being rushed as you race out the door
While you sometimes oversleep, you deprive your mind of some or all of these cues. Among the wakeup indicators may not happen in any respect. Others, like overhead lighting and caffeine, happen hours later than your mind is used to getting them.
Finish consequence: you’re feeling drained.
How are you going to inform when you’re sleeping an excessive amount of?
Dr. Winter suggests you contemplate this query:
In the course of the day, when you sit right down to learn a ebook or watch a present, do you’re feeling a robust urge to nod off?
If the reply is sure, it’s a sign that you just’re not getting sufficient restorative sleep at evening, which can be an indication of a sleep problem or sleep high quality challenge, he says.
However, when you’re clocking loads of bedtime hours and really feel energized in the course of the day, 10+ hours may simply be your pure sleep sample.
“In case you are an extended sleeper and really feel good, don’t fear about it,” says Dr. Martin. “Do your greatest to spend the period of time in mattress you want.”
Click on right here to view the knowledge sources referenced on this article.
Should you’re a well being and health professional…
Studying the best way to assist shoppers handle stress and optimize sleep can massively change your shoppers’ outcomes.
They’ll get “unstuck” and eventually transfer ahead—whether or not they need to eat higher, transfer extra, shed some pounds, or reclaim their well being.
Plus, it’ll provide the confidence and credibility as a specialised coach who can resolve the most important issues blocking any shoppers’ progress.
The brand-new PN Degree 1 Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification will present you ways.