Is There Such Thing as Too Much Sleep?

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed at least another hour to feel like I could fully take on the day ahead of me: Classes, then work shortly after, while making sure to do homework in gaps of my day. Then I realized I may have a normal amount of sleep that is recommended for young adults, but then I wondered if oversleeping exists. I know tons of people who love to sleep past noon on weekends, and I’ve always questioned whether their excessive amount of time spent sleeping was beneficial or not.

An article off of WebMD claims that oversleeping is definitely just as bad as not sleeping enough hours. There is supposedly a correlation with oversleeping and serious health problems, such as headaches and back pain to diabetes and heart disease. Researchers have a theory that there are two confounding variables which could potentially be the reasoning behind excessive sleeping: depression and poor socioeconomic status. The idea here is that people who are depressed tend to stay in bed longer than needed, which is where the oversleeping comes into play. In terms of the next factor, the article sees low socioeconomic status as a reason for people unable to get proper healthcare to be over -sleepers too.

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The human brain is also considered in sleep, as the brain is crucial to sleep. This article states how sleep plays a role in mental health as cognitive damage is an effect from oversleeping. In addition, the brain does a poorer job in restoring memory with longer sleep in comparison to people sleeping with the golden amount for most adults (7-9 hours).

There is not an official mechanism yet to explain how oversleeping can cause these health issues, but researchers feel that sleeping too much exists and it is not beneficial for us.  It’s interesting because for the longest time, I felt like I have heard that I need to make sure I get enough sleep and that not getting enough sleep is seriously destructive. While that is still true, now the other end of the spectrum is also seen to have negative consequences.

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14 thoughts on “Is There Such Thing as Too Much Sleep?

  1. Daniella Cappello

    I really relate to this post. For someone with a very weak immune system, my doctor is constantly telling me to get more sleep. I tend to get the typical 6-7 hours per night, but I nap sometimes twice a day. I long for the refreshing post-nap feeling, but more often than night I feel irritable and worse than before. I know for a fact that I tend to spend most days oversleeping. This post was eye opening for me and it shed light on a few things I had not previously thought about.

  2. Julia R Martini

    I can relate to this post. I’m usually not a big sleeper but I slept for 15 hours the other day. I thought I was going to be up all night the next night but I went to bed at a normal time and two days later I needed to take a nap because I was so tired. I used to think that if I got extra sleep a night that will make up for some of the days I didn’t get enough sleep but after reading this post I know that’s not correct. This post was full of useful information! I liked reading it and did’t get bored. Here is 25 fun facts about sleeping that I think you would like:

    1. Naseem Memari Post author

      I’m glad you liked the article! Thanks for sharing your link, my favorite one was about how we naturally feel tired at 2am and 2pm. It’s actually true for me because I for sure feel so done with the day around 2pm, and if I got not enough sleep the night before, it tends to catch up on me around 2pm!

  3. Michael Mandarino

    Thanks for sharing these findings. I love to sleep and take naps so I’ve never thought that there’s such a thing as “too much sleep”, but this article changed my point of view on that. It’s also very well-written and you do a very good job of presenting your information clearly. Thanks again

    1. Naseem Memari Post author

      Hi Michael! Thank you, I am glad that you found the article helpful. I actually have never been one to take naps because I have such a difficult time trying to fall asleep when it’s light outside, so it’s the interesting that you do nap and never thought that too much sleep could not be too good. I also did not think that too much sleep was a negative thing, but it makes sense!

  4. Jack Regar

    I found this article interesting because recently I feel like I have been getting enough sleep, but I always wake up way too tired and feel like I should’ve slept some more. Personally, I tend to lose a lot of sleep during the week and then during the weekend, I normally try and sleep for a long time to try and “make up” for the hours I lost during the week. This is probably not the best way for me to get sleep, but it normally does the trick for me. The average number of sleep that should be obtained by each age group is shown on a chart in this article.

    1. Naseem Memari Post author

      Thanks for sending the chart, it was interesting to see it! I am in the same boat as you. as I feel like when I wake up I always need more rest, but I know I have rested for a good amount. I tend to sleep more during the weekends so I feel rejuvenated but I don’t know if that actually happens!

  5. Nicole Trachman

    I am the type of person that could sleep all day if no one wakes me but I’ve noticed that whenever I sleep until 1 pm, I can’t get anything productive done all day because I’m so tired! It never made any sense to me so I’m glad I saw your post on this. It could be very interesting to see more studies done on the effects you mentioned (headaches, back pain, heart disease). I would like to see if there are any third variables effecting these or if oversleeping is really the cause! If so, I should probably start waking up a little earlier! I found an interesting article you might want to check out!

  6. Christopher Ronkainen

    As a child I always wondered why my physician asked me the amount of hours I slept a night, and did not understand until I got older. I myself also know many people that can sleep for hours on end during the week and the weekends. Interestingly enough, I feel like when they wake up they are still tired and just want to lay in bed all day. I found the point that you took from your article saying that headaches could be tied to oversleeping to be quite interesting because someone I know personally often has headaches and loves to sleep! While looking up your topic more I ran across a cool article that lists many health benefits to proper sleep. Enjoy!

  7. jpb5864

    Thank you for this post!!!! I am the type of person who is always tired and always feels like I need more sleep. Now I know not to take the extra hour of sleep and not to take multiple naps during the day! I didn’t know that by sleeping in a few hours is detrimental to my health.
    Thank you,
    Jacqueline Brocco

  8. Daniele Patrice Loney

    Hi Naseem!
    This was a very interesting article because I always feel bad for myself if I don’t get enough sleep, so I end up sleeping in. Little did I know that could be doing more harm than good! Something I also thought about was the fact that people in lower socioeconomic classes could possibly use unemployment as an explanation for why they sleep more than they should. Personally, if I have nothing scheduled to do all day, I tend to be unproductive in other ways. So maybe, they don’t have motivation to get out of bed which results in excess sleep. It would be interesting to do a study on that!
    Thanks for your post,
    Daniele Loney

  9. rlw5445

    Anyone that knows me knows that I love to sleep. It is one of the few things that I can control when life gets too crazy. Nothing is more relaxing than completely clearing your mind to lay down and take a tranquil nap. Especially on the weekends when I have no obligations and I can get up when I want to I tend to sleep in until at least 10am. When I read the title of your article I was a little startled. We have always heard since we were younger that getting the right amount of sleep is paramount in our help, however I have never heard the other side of that argument. It had never occurred to me that too much sleep could be a bad thing. This lead me to do a little research of my own. An article posted in Medical Daily discusses that the root cause behind oversleeping affecting us is our circadian rhythm. Now I remember from my AP Psych class in high school that our circadian rhythm is our internal 24-hour clock that allows us to sleep at night and be awake during the day. Feelings of drowsiness and fatigue that usually follow oversleeping can disrupt our circadian rhythm the article discloses. Now for any other oversleepers out there like me the article provides some tips for breaking our cycle. Some of them include allowing sunlight to be your back-up alarm, and placing your alarm clock/phone out of reaching distance which will force you to actually get out of bed to turn off. Another key tip is to keep a consistent sleep pattern even on the weekends. Sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday will make getting up on Monday that much harder. If you wish to learn more tips to avoid oversleeping visit this website .

    1. Naseem Memari Post author

      Thanks for leaving the link, because I know I tend to sleep a couple more hours on the weekend! I am still surprised that an excessive amount of sleep is actually worse than I thought, so I will try to help myself out for the future.

  10. Alexandra Nicole Iaccino

    I always feel like I need another hour or so of sleep in the morning so this information is really helpful in trying to avoid oversleeping. This post and the article made me think how many hours of sleep should we be getting and when is it considered oversleeping? I found this article ( that talks more about how many hours of sleep you should be getting a night and how seven hours is the ideal amount.

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