Here at Sleepezi, we’re often concerned with people who struggle to sleep or don’t get enough sleep. But what if you sleep TOO much? Is that even possible?
According to sleep expert Michael J Breus, it’s definitely possible to oversleep. “Oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue like depression, or can be a sign of a clinical sleep disorder.”
A little sleep-in on the weekend doesn’t hurt, but sleeping too much actually results in the same health risks as not getting enough sleep – including mood swings, loss of concentration, apathy, lethargy, and decreases in physical health.
How do you know if you’re sleeping too much?
The correct term for oversleeping is Hypersomnia. Symptoms include:
- Sleeping for an extended period at night – well over the 7-8 hours generally recommended for adults.
- Struggling to wake up in the morning, or constantly sleeping through an alarm.
- Grogginess during the day.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Trouble engaging your brain, especially in the morning.
In young adults and children, oversleeping is a common sign of depression. If your teenager is oversleeping, it’s important to talk to them about what’s going on in their life.
Oversleeping can be bad for your health
Researchers at the Chicago School of Medicine found that people who sleep more than 8 hours are twice as likely to have angina (chest pains) and 10% more likely to have coronary heart disease. Oversleeping has also been linked to strokes.
What influences Hypersomnia?
There’s no single right amount of sleep – it depends on a number of factors. Age, genetics, activity levels throughout the day, and general health can all contribute to the amount of sleep you need.
Hypersomnia can also be a sign you’re experiencing a sleep disorder. In particular, hypersomnia has been linked to Narcolepsy, Restless leg Syndrome, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Certain medical conditions can also cause oversleeping, as can being overweight, certain medications, or substance abuse.
What to do if you’re oversleeping
If you believe you or someone in your family might be experiencing oversleeping, talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you notice changes in your sleep patterns or you have associated conditions.
Limiting alcohol intake, avoiding sleep deprivation, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule can help you break the cycle of oversleeping.