A lot of the time we hear tips and tricks for people who feel like they don’t get enough sleep- how to sleep better, longer more restfully, etc. What if you are someone who doesn’t have any trouble sleeping at night; in fact, you might be wondering if you’re sleeping too much? Although everyone’s needs are different, there are a few things to think about in regards to getting too much sleep at night.
Most healthy adults need from 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It’s unhealthy to go under, and it may be unhealthy to go over, that allowed amount of time. Each person should fall somewhere in-between that range, although it will differ from person to person.
If you find that you regularly need more than 7-9 hours of sleep to feel rested, there may be an underlying problem that you should consult with your doctor about. For example, 90% of people suffering from sleep apnea have not been diagnosed and as a result of lack of treatment get less rest at night (and might feel like they need to add on extra hours in order to feel rested).
Scientifically people who sleep longer are more prone long-term to developing diabetes and obesity as opposed to those who sleep within the 7-9 hour range. In the short-term, those who sleep longer hours are prone to headaches and depression, believed to be due to the fact that excess sleep effects serotonin levels in the brain.
If you are a healthy adult and are sleeping longer than 7-9 hours each night, try to make a lifestyle change to shorten your sleeping time and notice if you feel better or worse. If you feel significantly tired after sleeping for 7-9 hours, consult with your doctor to confirm that you’re not suffering from a sleep disorder or other health condition.