Are You Sleeping Too Much?
No doubt you know all of the reasons why it’s important to get enough sleep. Getting enough shut-eye is crucial for well-being, mood, and even your appearance.
But for all the fabulous things sleep does for our body and mind, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
Here are a few signs that you're spending too much time sleeping, plus a good recommendation on just how much is enough.
Aches & Pains
Do you snap, crackle, or pop when you get out of bed in the morning?
Maybe you even do all three.
Getting too much sleep can be really hard in your body, resulting in:
- Sore muscles
- Muscle fatigue
- Bad attitudes — aka the “wrong side of the bed” effect
It’s not clear exactly what causes headaches for people who sleep too much, but some researchers believe oversleeping causes your neurotransmitters to get out of whack, which could be a contributing factor.
Other researchers believe a simple lack of activity may be the culprit.
If you’re sleeping too much, that same lack of activity may be to blame for back and nack pain.
If you’re having chronic back or neck pains, sleeping in or lying around all day could be making it worse. It may be best to get out of bed and go see a medical professional for help with that pain.
Oversleeping is one of the first tell-tale signs of depression and getting too much sleep can make depression worse.
It might feel like self-care at first, but giving in to a cycle of unhealthy behavior — like irregular or extended sleeping patterns — can contribute to feeling groggy and unmotivated throughout the day.
All it does is restart the cycle, over and over, making it much more likely for you to continue in a downward spiral.
If you think your extended time in bed could be linked to depression, we encourage you to reach out and seek help. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offer in-person and online support groups and forums to help you find solutions.
Too much sleep can leave you feeling just... off. Tired. Foggy. Forgetful.
We’d talk more about this, but…
We can’t remember what we were talking about, anyway.
Not only can it keep you feeling confused but it can also make you irritable.
Not a good thing when you have meetings to go to and colleagues to play nice with.
Consistently getting too much sleep could increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Researchers have found getting too much sleep can cause cells to start ignoring the insulin your body produces.
And that could result in insulin resistance.
While you sleep, your body processes blood sugar and converts it into energy.
Oversleeping doesn’t allow your body to reset and process blood sugar properly, which can also increase your risk of diabetes just as much as not getting enough sleep.
If you’re already at risk of diabetes, pay careful attention to the quality and amount of sleep you're getting each night.
It could be that one little thing that pushes you over the edge.
Did you know that catching some extra z’s could increase your risk of developing heart disease?
Researchers aren’t sure what actually causes the increased risk — it may be decreased physical activity or something else altogether.
But, that alone is enough of a reason to jump out of bed the first time the alarm goes off, right?
How Much is Too Much?
If there’s one thing the entire scientific community agrees on, it’s that 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night is best for adults between the ages of 18 and 65.
So oversleeping means about 9 - 11 hours per night.
This sounds like a great Saturday morning snooze, but clearly we need to adjust our priorities.
But, it’s still not quite that simple: for some people, a little more than 8 may be right; a little less than 7 for some is fine, too. For some people, about 2% of the population, even 10 hours per night is healthy and normal.
Pay attention to how you feel upon waking and throughout the day. If you're experiencing any of these signs or symptoms of over-sleeping, you may want to cut back by 30-minute increments until you find the right amount of sleep for you.
For the sake of your health, find the right balance for you, and stick to it.
Regular, Healthy Sleep
We’ve said it before (a lot): one of the healthiest things you can do is get regular, healthful sleep.
That means setting a sleep routine that works for you.
It means making sure that you’re not just sleeping with a goal of making it to 8 hours on the dot. You also need to make sure that the sleep you’re getting is good quality, restorative sleep.
It might even mean breaking up with your old mattress and bedding for something healthier and toxin-free.
It’s all connected: from the right mattress to the right bedtime routine.
If you feel like too much sleep is affecting you, wake up!
Roll out of bed earlier than you want to.
Who knows, you might even become a morning person.