You’ve heard it for years – get enough sleep! But is there such a thing as too much sleep?
For the average Joe/Josie, getting the adequate amount of sleep is hard enough – but what about sleeping too much? The truth is getting too little and too much are very similar. How can you make sure you are getting that exact amount of needed sleep every night?
I never thought sleeping too much would be an issue, I’d love to sleep for 10 hours every night – a dream that probably shouldn’t come true. We’re ready to investigate the risks related to excessive sleeping and tips to reset our sleep routine.
Let’s see if you suffer from too much sleep. You’re thinking – I would love to suffer having too much sleep, but too much can be unhealthy and have dire consequences in the long term.
Ask yourself the following questions and answer yes or no.
- Do you sleep for 10 or more hours on a regular basis?
- Are you very tired during the day if you don’t get this much sleep?
- Have you had this sleep pattern since you were a child?
Answering yes to these questions signals you might be an excessive sleeper.
4 risks of sleeping excessively
1. Increase risk of depression. Too little or too much sleep can lead to depression. Yes, there are events in our lives that pull us under the covers longer – a breakup, job loss or grieving. The risk of depression heightens when your sleep pattern of 10 or more hours in bed becomes a daily occurrence.
2. Brain impaired. A study by the Alzheimer’s Association found that sleeping too much worsened brain function over a 6 year period. Women who slept an average of 9 or more hours per night displayed changes in their brain on par with aging 2 years. The brain is always on, sleeping too many hours doesn’t allow the brain to function as it should compared to when completing daily activities.
3. Risk of diabetes increases. Researchers in Quebec found that people who slept 9 or more hours regularly were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes over a period of 6 years. When your body enters deep sleep, nervous system activity slows down and the body isn’t able to maintain sufficient glucose levels.
4. Early death. Not to frighten you but it’s important to recheck your sleep pattern to avoid this risk. In 2010, researchers found an increased risk of dying – of many causes – from being a long sleeper. Sleeping more than 9 hours was associated with a 1.3 times greater risk of death.
What can you do if you sleep too much?
You found out that you may suffer from excessive sleeping. Here are some tips of how you can create a sleep pattern that allows you maintain a healthier sleep regime and get down to the average sleeping time per night.
• Keep a sleep diary/blog. Record the amount of hours slept for 2 weeks. In the diary, note how you felt after sleeping. Did you feel well rested? Were there times you felt exhausted? Use this information to track your patterns and assist in planning a better sleep routine. A sleep diary is also useful if you ever see the doctor for sleep related issues.
• See a sleep specialist. If you’re consistently over sleeping and feel groggy all day, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor. They’ll work with you to get you back on track.
• Reset your sleep schedule. Try resetting your sleep schedule. Go to sleep earlier and set an alarm to wake up at a consistent time the next morning.