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Is It Unhealthy to Get Too Much Sleep?

Updated on October 7, 2020
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks makes a living by writing online about entertainment, celebrities, books, movies, foods, drinks, health, and spirituality.

It is no surprise that doctors suggest people should get enough sleep. They believe it is dangerous if they don't. However, it might be a surprise that doctors also suggest that it is dangerous to get too much sleep.

Researchers have discovered that spending too much time sleeping is linked to health hazards. Sleeping too much is just as dangerous as not sleeping enough. Besides, oversleeping might be a symptom of a medical condition. To stay healthy, sleep is necessary in both quality and quantity.

Sleeping too much is as dangerous as not sleeping enough.

Are You Sleeping Too Much?

How much sleep is too much? According to the National Sleep Foundation, a healthy sleep range is about seven to nine hours a night for most adults. People who get that amount of sleep live longer and have better brain health. Anything over nine hours is thought to be excessive and in the danger zone.

However, it is nothing to be concerned about if it happens once in a while. It is considered dangerous if it happens often because it could be a sign of health issues. Oversleeping affects at least 2 percent of the population. These people might have treatable conditions.

Reasons People Sleep More Than Usual

Dr. Nancy H. Rothstein is the Sleep Ambassador and Director of CIRCADIAN Corporate Sleep Programs. She says if you oversleep often, then you should find out why. You should examine your sleep habits. She concludes that the body is speaking to those who oversleep.

So, what is your body telling you when you oversleep?

Dr. Robert Rosenberg is a sleep medicine specialist and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day: A Doctor's Solution to Solving Your Sleep Problems. He defines that too much sleep is over nine hours. He contends that too much sleep on a regular basis can increase the risk of several diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even death.

The most common cause of oversleeping is not getting enough sleep the night before.

Dr. Rosenberg offers ways to get enough sleep without oversleeping.

  1. Don't close the drapes or blinds at night. Sunlight will keep you from oversleeping the next morning.
  2. Set a dawn sunlight emitting alarm clock to start filling your room with light 15 to 30 minutes before the alarm goes off.
  3. If you take naps after 4 p.m., it may make it more difficult to fall asleep and when you do, you will oversleep.
  4. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, a physiologist, sleep and stress management expert who runs sleep and wellness programs at The Nightingale Hospital says an unhealthy diet and alcohol have an effect on a person's sleep pattern.

Drinking coffee and tea in the afternoon also affects when a person falls to sleep and how long he sleeps. The beverages can affect a person's body up to 12 hours after consumption. Therefore, someone will more than likely oversleep the next morning.

Why Oversleeping Is Dangerous

Researchers have discovered that oversleeping is linked to several ailments and diseases. Too little sleep and too much sleep have the same dangers.

  • Cognitive memory impairments and decreased cognitive function are the results of too little and too much sleep.
  • There are increased risks of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Depression occurs in people who sleep longer than nine hours.
  • Increased inflammation is caused by getting too little or too much sleep.
  • Headaches and other pains are worsened by not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep.
  • Impaired fertility occurs in women who don't get the right amount of sleep.
  • Higher risk of obesity happens when sleep is not balanced.
  • Higher risk of diabetes is present without the right amount of sleep.
  • Higher risk of heart disease also occurs with too little or too much sleep.
  • Risk of stroke is 90 percent higher in people whose sleep habits are regulated.
  • A higher death rate is present when people don't get the proper amount of sleep. In other words, death can be the cause of oversleeping as well as undersleeping.

How To Prevent Oversleeping

Oversleeping can be avoided if several guidelines are followed.

  1. Get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
  2. Try to go to bed around the same time every night, within about 1/2 hour range.
  3. Try to get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
  4. Keep your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to turn it off.
  5. Don't use the snooze button on your alarm clock.
  6. Don't stay up past midnight before going to bed.
  7. Before drifting off to sleep, think of something that you're looking forward to the next day even if it is something small.
  8. Shut off all technology and don't keep electronics near your bed.
  9. Don't fall to sleep with the television on.
  10. Make sure you eat dinner at least three hours before going to bed.
  11. Meditation or praying will help you have a good night sleep. You will wake up refreshed.
  12. Look forward to waking up with a positive attitude to start each day.

Do you tend to oversleep?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Amanuliah, yes, are correct. It does depend on the age to determine the amount of sleep a person needs.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Amanullah Jatoi profile image

      Amanullah Jatoi 

      2 years ago from Saudi Arabia

      It depends on age ,younger can get 7 to 8 hours and for older 5 to 6 hours are enough


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