Reviewed by Jennifer Martin, PhD
Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines about how oversleeping has been linked to a higher danger of illness and demise. If you happen to’re the form of one who commonly clocks greater than eight hours of slumber, these information tales have most likely made you surprise, “Why do I sleep a lot? And is it dangerous for me?”
On this story, sleep consultants aid you perceive the most recent 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 course, 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 Youngster, and co-author of Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.
Above (and under) common sleepers fall into three important 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 typical individual.
Elevated ranges of a hormone referred to as orexin permits them to really feel spunky and clear-headed with simply 5 to 6 hours of shuteye.
Right here’s an essential 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.
If you happen to’re not genetically a Pure Quick Sleeper, skimping on sleep probably means you’ll both…
▶ really feel like rubbish the following day
▶ gained’t really feel like rubbish the following day—however solely since you’re so used to the results of sleep deprivation that you simply’ve now not keep in mind what it feels prefer 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 normally want 10, 11, or 12 hours to be able to really feel refreshed. Their genetics additionally trigger them to really feel drained extra shortly than different folks.
Additionally on this longer-sleeping class: kids, youngsters, and plenty of younger adults, all of whom want extra sleep so their our bodies can proceed to develop, says Jennifer Martin, PhD, Professor of Drugs on the College of California, Los Angeles and likewise a co-author Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.
Sure prescription medicines can even improve sleep time, says Dr. Martin.
“Often this impact is reversed when the individual stops the treatment, and in some instances, the sleepiness is diminished as soon as the individual will get used to the treatment,” she says.
3. Individuals who want 13+ hours of sleep
Some folks sleep 14, 17, 24 or extra hours with little or no interruption, and so they nonetheless wake feeling drained.
“If you happen to discover you’re considered one of these folks, it may be a sign that there’s something fallacious 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 folks to wake feeling unrefreshed.
Quite a lot of well being circumstances—together with epilepsy, Parkinson’s illness, and melancholy—can even result in hypersomnia, which is the shortcoming to remain awake. Narcolepsy, one other hypersomnia situation, causes folks to really feel drained on a regular basis, main them to go to sleep at inappropriate and harmful instances, corresponding to whereas on a date or driving a automobile. These issues require medical remedy.
If you happen to suspect any of the above is true for you, it’s an awesome factor to say to your physician.
What occurs if you sleep an excessive amount of?
“For the typical individual, if they’re sleeping, they most likely must 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 following. Alternatively, you might have observed: If you happen to acquire extra sleep than common by sleeping in on a weekend, you’ll probably end up conscious later that night.
There are, nonetheless, some exceptions. Extra about these under.
(Discover out: Would YOU make an awesome sleep coach?)
Does oversleeping hurt your well being?
Regardless of the entire scary headlines, it’s probably 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]
Often, 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 embrace:
▶ 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 essential to notice that oversleeping doesn’t trigger them. Relatively, it’s a symptom of them.
For instance, sleep apnea repeatedly wakes folks, usually for transient moments, throughout the evening, which might result in hypersomnia (extreme sleepiness throughout the day) in addition to a robust want to remain in mattress longer than eight hours or to take a nap throughout the afternoon.
“When medical issues disturb sleep, it takes an individual an extended time period to be sufficiently recovered,” says Dr. Martin.
If you happen to commonly get greater than 10 hours, and you’re feeling energetic and clear headed throughout the day, that’s nice! Get pleasure from your slumber with out worry. You almost certainly don’t have anything to fret about.
Then again, should you spend your days craving a nap—drained, mind fogged, irritated, and resolution fatigued—there could also be an underlying difficulty value exploring along with your physician.
(Be taught extra: Why folks with insomnia swear by CBT-I.)
4 Sleep Habits That Enhance Sleep High quality
If you happen to’re all in favour of sleeping extra restfully, think about forming any of the next sleep habits.
Create a sleep oasis. When your sleep surroundings makes you’re feeling secure and comfy, it’s simpler in your mind to loosen up, permitting you to sleep extra deeply.
Block out gentle. Your circadian rhythm responds to adjustments in gentle. For most individuals, the darker the room, the higher they sleep. If you happen to can’t get your room as darkish as wanted, think about experimenting with a sleep masks that covers your eyes and blocks out gentle.
Alter the temperature. Along with gentle, 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, think about 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 wish extra sleep to really feel rested.
(Learn extra: The right way to sleep higher.)
Can sleeping an excessive amount of make you drained?
Ever observed that you simply really feel extra drained if you sleep in (say, on the weekends) than you do if you stand up early?
There are two probably causes for this phenomenon.
1. Oversleeping is usually a response to undersleeping
Some folks sleep 10+ hours on the weekends as a result of they’re sleeping six or fewer hours throughout the week.
“One purpose folks really feel drained after sleeping quite a bit is that they nonetheless haven’t paid again their sleep money owed from prior nights,” says Dr. Martin. “If you’re 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.
If you happen to normally wake at 6 am, sleeping in on the weekends will disrupt your mind’s skill 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 gentle that units your mind’s circadian clock
✅ The blaring noise of your alarm clock that triggers the discharge of cortisol and different alertness chemical compounds
✅ Conversations with housemates that nudge you to “get up! assume!”
✅ That feeling of being rushed as you race out the door
Once 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 end result: you’re feeling drained.
How are you going to inform should you’re sleeping an excessive amount of?
Dr. Winter suggests you think about this query:
Through the day, should you sit right down to learn a e-book 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 simply’re not getting sufficient restorative sleep at evening, which can be an indication of a sleep problem or sleep high quality difficulty, he says.
Then again, should you’re clocking a variety of bedtime hours and really feel energized throughout the day, 10+ hours may simply be your pure sleep sample.
“If you’re 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.
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