Many of us wish we could get more sleep
than we do; but apparently, it is possible to get too much sleep, which may have a negative impact on your
At different points in your life and
development, your sleep needs will vary. Generally speaking, though, healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours
of sleep a night, sources say. "Too much sleep" could therefore be defined as sleep amounts that exceed 9 or 10
hours in a 24-hour period.
Reasons for some people sleeping too
There is a condition called
hypersomnia, which causes sufferers to have an almost constant need for sleep. People with hypersomnia never
seem to get enough sleep, and feel groggy and sleepy all day, even if they get a normal amount of sleep.
For others, sleeping for long hours is
simply something they enjoy, perhaps to catch up on the weekends after a week of little sleep.
Depression is also a condition that is
associated with an increased need or desire for sleep. Sufferers of depression sometimes find it hard just to
get out of bed.
Harmful effects of having too much
According to several studies and
sources, there are some harmful effects of having too much sleep. Getting too much sleep may result in the
Ø Increased mortality, or earlier death than those who get normal
amounts of sleep. Studies have shown that people who sleep too much die sooner than normal sleepers.
Ø A greater risk of stroke has been observed in those who get too
Ø Too much weight and too much sleep may go hand-in-hand. Studies
have also shown a correlation between those who sleep too much and those who weigh too
Ø Studies have shown that those who sleep too much are at greater
risk for developing diabetes.
Steps to identify if you are having too
Because sleep needs vary among
individuals, it can be challenging to discern whether or you are suffering from too little or too much sleep. If
you are struggling with sleepiness during the day and have trouble sleeping at night, or if you can't seem to
get up in the morning no matter how much you sleep, here are some facts and suggestions that may
Ø Keep a sleep diary, noting what time you go to sleep and what
time you awaken, and how you feel during the day. Note times you feel sleepy and times you feel energetic, and look
Ø It's said that humans are biologically wired to feel less alert
in the middle of the afternoon and in the middle of the night, so if you find yourself sleepy at these times there
may not be a problem with your sleep patterns.
Ø Determine if you are overweight. If you find that you can't keep
weight off no matter how much you exercise or diet, it's possible that too much sleep is the culprit.
Ø If you find that you rely too much on caffeine to avoid being
sleepy, it is one of the sign that you are having too much sleep.