Is it possible to sleep TOO much?

Is it possible to sleep TOO much?

Posted by Sam Davies (Sleep Guru) on

It's now common knowledge that a lack of sleep can have lasting, damaging effects on our health, but did you know that getting too much sleep can produce the same havoc on our health?

Research has shown us that not getting a good night’s sleep can lead to a host of complications such as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation.

However, what is interesting is that too much sleep has also been linked to the same type of health problems.

Researchers have discovered that oversleeping can lead to an increased risk of:

Diabetes: studies have shown that getting more than 9 hours of sleep per night can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Obesity: a recent study found that people who slept between 9 and 10 hours each night were 21 percent more likely to be obese

Headaches: if you are prone to headaches or migraines, oversleeping has been shown to aggravate this

Back Pain: prolonged sleep can definitely lead to back pain, as doctors have now discovered that the most common cause of back pain is actually inactivity.

Depression: statistics show that oversleeping can worsen the symptoms of depression and hinder the recovery process.

Heart Disease: one study found that women who slept between 9 and 11 hours per night were 38 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to women who only slept 8 hours.

Premature Death: it seems extreme, but scientists have found that people who sleep more than 9 hours per night seem to have higher death rates than people who sleep just 7-8 hours per night. While researchers are not clear about why, they do believe that other factors such as depression could be a key.

So, how much sleep is too much?

According to experts, the amount of sleep that you need varies greatly depending on your age, lifestyle, DNA and general health.

For example, during periods of stress or illness, the body often requires more sleep. Adolescents may also require more sleep when their bodies start growing and changing.

But for the average adult person, more than 9-10 hours per night on a regular basis could be too much.

Oversleeping is not something that our bodies are generally prone to do, and often indicates an underlying medical cause.

There could be many reasons why a person oversleeps, but the four most common reasons include-

1. Depression

2. Sleep Apnoea

3. Alcohol

4. Certain Medications

Whatever the cause for oversleeping may be, there are some steps you can adopt to help you manage your sleep better.

These include:

  • Creating a bedtime routine that involves the same bedtime and waking time every day

  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed

  • Regular exercise

  • Setting the temperature in your room to a comfortable level

  • Ensuring your mattress and bedding is clean, cosy and supportive

  • Keeping your sleep environment distraction free

When it comes to sleep, it seems that balance and moderation are really key if you want to experience the best benefits.

Sweet dreams, Koalas.