Oversleeping: How much sleep is too much?

You’re probably acquainted with the recommendation that adults should have seven to nine hours of sleep each night to obtain optimal health and energy levels during the day. Sleep-deprived individuals often experience numerous consequences such as low energy levels, weight gain, higher risk for developing certain diseases, increased hunger, etc. Nevertheless, did you know that those who sleep too much can also experience specific difficulties regarding their health? The connection between oversleeping and health issues can go both ways; too much sleep can either be a symptom of an underlying disorder or a cause of a health problem. To help you understand these connections, we’ve consulted medical experts from Aastra Women’s Center, who helped us list and explain a few of the leading causes and effects of oversleeping.

1. How much sleep is too much?

For instance, let’s see how many hours of sleep are considered too much. Adults are advised to sleep anywhere between seven and nine hours each night to maintain their health and ensure optimal energy levels. Still, the amount of sleep you need can vary significantly depending on your age, activity levels, overall health, etc. For example, during periods of illness or stress or when you’re taking certain medications, you may experience an increased need for sleep. However, if this need spreads to a long course of time and becomes chronic (meaning you typically sleep more than nine hours a night), it may be time to consult your doctor.

2. What causes oversleeping?

As we mentioned, occasional oversleeping typically isn’t something you should be concerned about. According to A Better Weigh, if, however, you continue oversleeping for a while, it may be a sign of some of the following health issues:

  • Sleep disorders (for example, narcolepsy or sleep apnea),
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • Cardiovascular disease,
  • Obesity,
  • Hypothyroidism,
  • Iron deficiency,
  • Diabetes, etc.

3. The impacts of oversleeping on your health.

If you’re healthy, and none of the above-listed health issues apply to you, but you simply enjoy sleeping and do it for more than nine hours each night, here’s how your habit may impact your overall health:

  • It can worsen inflammation in your body.
  • It can lead to chronic diseases.
  • It can decrease your immune function.
  • It may cause cognitive impairment.
  • It can cause impaired glucose tolerance.

To prevent these side-effects of oversleeping, you should aim to increase your quality of sleep. For instance, it would be best if you set up a regular sleep schedule and start going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day. Those who oversleep during weekends typically mess up their circadian cycles, so it’s best to remain loyal to your established sleep schedule whenever possible. You can also develop a bedtime routine to help you relax; you can light up some candles and listen to calming music rather than scroll through your phone. The light from electronics often harms one’s sleep quality. Also, keeping your room temperature low can decrease your chances of oversleeping. Lastly, if you regularly experience tiredness during the day, you can try having power naps, which should last around fifteen to twenty minutes. Still, avoid napping for too long or after 4 p.m.

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