Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Sleep?
If you’re a typical adult, the idea of getting too much sleep may seem like an impossible fantasy. You’re much more likely to be struggling with getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, and wishing for an opportunity to sleep in. Believe it or not, though, routinely exceeding the recommended amount of sleep is not a sign you’re an overachiever—it may well be a hint that something is wrong.
Just like getting too little sleep, persistent oversleeping indicates that your natural sleep rhythms aren’t right. In fact, some of the exact same health risks, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and memory problems, are linked to getting both too little sleep and too much sleep. Oversleeping can also be a symptom of either physical or mental health disorders, so it isn’t something to ignore.
On the physical side, sleep apnea is one condition that can cause oversleeping, because it interferes with sleep quality throughout the night. Incidents of obstructed breathing cause the sleeper to wake up periodically, sometimes without them even being aware of it, which interrupts the natural sleep cycle and leads to less restful sleep. Restless leg syndrome, in which patients experience uncomfortable feelings in their legs that brings on an irresistible urge to move them, particularly at night, can have a similar effect on sleep quality. Sufferers end up sleeping longer because the rest they’re getting isn’t restorative. Certain medications can also cause oversleeping, as can neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, or epilepsy.
On the mental health side, getting too much sleep can be a sign of depression. Depression and disordered sleep are closely linked, with sleep problems not only serving as symptom but also exacerbating the problem. Sleep disorders are considered a core symptom of depression—while insomnia is more common, teens and women are more likely than other groups to experience hypersomnia in connection to their depression.
Excessive sleep may also be accompanied by daytime sleepiness, which is another sign that the rest you’re getting is not productive. A doctor can help determine the reason you’re persistently sleeping too much, whether it is due to a health condition or to lifestyle factors. Pinpointing any underlying medical issues will allow you to get treatment to target the problem and restore a normal sleep pattern.
A doctor may also recommend improving your sleep hygiene. This means setting up routines and practices that make it more likely for you to get the right amount of quality sleep, like having a regular bedtime, exercising regularly during the day, limiting electronics use before bedtime, and making sure your bedroom is comfortable and free from excessive light and noise.
At IDLE Sleep, we know that great sleep isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity for good health. Our high-quality mattresses are designed to provide the support and comfort you need to sleep well
throughout the night. Our high-tech foams and fabrics deliver superior pressure relief and cooling, and we offer a full range of styles and levels of firmness to suit any sleeper. To find out which IDLE Sleep mattress is right for you, click here.