How Much Sleep Is Too Much Sleep?

Richmond Gbenga · May 20 2020

While there’s no set amount of sleep that works best for everyone, most healthy adults require between 7 - 9 hours of sleep every day. And, although a small number of people put in about 10 hours in Zzz world [and that’s OK sometimes,] anything beyond the recommended [7 - 9 hours] most times [is too much sleep] and may be an indication of an underlying illness.

Experts often focus more of their attention and studies on the effects of sleeplessness [insomnia] and so little concern is giving to sleeping too much -- hypersomnia [perhaps because most would rather suffer from sleeping too much than counting sheep at night, right?] 

Again, sleep experts tell us that it’s during sleep that the body gets a chance to repair and restore, oversleeping just means more time for the body to recharge, right? Not so fast…

More research is showing that oversleeping is associated with many serious health conditions such as:

  1. Headaches
  2. Depression
  3. Heart disease
  4. Type II diabetes
  5. Obesity
  6. Et Cetera

Now, you’re wondering, “Does this mean oversleeping leads to the chronic illnesses listed above?” Well, it probably works the other way around, meaning sleeping too much may be an indication that there’s an underlying illness...and it’s a good idea to go see your doctor just to be sure.

So, are you sleeping too much?

Well, according to recent research by experts at the National Sleep Foundation, anywhere between 7 - 9 hours is considered normal and healthy for most adults who fall between 18 - 64 years. So, anything beyond that means you’re crossing over to “oversleep” territory.

Many health experts agree that people who sleep an average of 7 hours have the lowest mortality and morbidity. Some have even linked 7 hours sleep-time with longevity and better brain health.

Of course, some people will do 7 hours and feel fully refreshed while others need to put in 9 hours to get in sync. Overall, most sleep experts agree that going over 9 hours is overdoing it as an adult.

Setting the stage for healthy sleep

If you’re looking to achieve healthier Zzzs [that should be everyone’s goal, right?] then the following tips should get you started:

  1. Gun for between 7 - 9 hours of sleep every night -- set an alarm if you have to
  2. Resist the urge to oversleep during weekends so you don’t reset your internal clock
  3. Consider leaving the blinds open before bedtime so the morning sunlight can get you off the bed
  4. Avoid napping longer than an hour...and after 4 pm

That’s it guys -- but before you go...

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