Sleep: Too Much vs Too Little

Do you ever find that no matter how much you sleep, you still struggle with dragging yourself out of bed? If you fall short of the recommended 8 hours of sleep, you wake up feeling like you never even slept. On the other hand, if you get more than 8 hours, you wake up not knowing what day it is, still being exhausted—well you may not but this is how I usually feel. As I lay here at 3 o clock in the morning beginning this blog, still wide awake, I can’t help but wonder why this is. As college students we deal with probably the most messed up sleep schedules of our lives. This is why I am posing the question of which is worse: Over sleeping or under sleeping?


The Cons

Both cases, whether it be too much or too little sleep, come with consequences. In an article done by, it lists several negatives associated with oversleeping. These ranged from effects on metabolism and mood to even more serious issues like the lack of water and oxygen sent to the brain. On the flip side, lack of sleep can be just as impacting on your health. This article published on explains how attention span, motor skills and even mental health are just a few of the many aspects harmed.


            Other Factors

Even with all of this in mind, we still must take other factors into account. Don’t forget that correlation does NOT equal causation!! As we learned there can be many confounding variables (or a “z” variable) that are actually causing these health effects. The cause of your health problem may not be from the lack/abundance of sleep. Other possible causes of these health issues could be traumatic events, stress, or even just genetics. If we were to look at a case of depression for example, a person may not be depressed due to their lack of sleep; it may just actually be from a chemical imbalance. A result of this depression could be the reason that they are losing sleep. According to this article, there are plenty of possible causes of depression other than lack of sleep.

            My Conclusion

After much research, I have come to the conclusion that there cannot be a definite answer on whether over sleeping or under sleeping is worse. In this article, it mentions how everyone’s body is unique which means that the proper amount of sleep for each person differs. This being said, certain amounts of sleep may affect people differently. Though both cases can cause a plethora of health defects, neither is better than the other. All I can recommend is that everyone try to figure out what sleep schedule works best for themselves. It is vital that we all stay healthy during college at a time when work and paying attention in class is so important.





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4 thoughts on “Sleep: Too Much vs Too Little

  1. Rachel Sara Anton

    This article caught my eye because of my crazy sleep schedule. I actually get over 9 hours of sleep a night, while last year I got about 6 hours a night. I can personally say that getting the extra sleep has had a very positive effect on my ability to focus in class and get better grades. On the other hand, now that my body has been spoiled with this abundance of sleep, I have a very difficult time on the days that I fall short of my 9 hours. Is it a bad thing that my body has gotten used to a ton of sleep? That would be an interesting thing to study. I think it’s interesting that you brought confounding variables into your post, but I think they would be better supported with a study for source of factual evidence. Here is an article by a Harvard medical doctor claiming that both too little sleep and too much sleep affects your health. Check it out!

  2. Danielle Megan Sobel

    I really liked this article and it really resonated with me as a first year college student. I found an article which refers to oversleeping as “Too much of a good thing” and I can sometimes agree with this. As an avid napper (taking anywhere from 2-5 naps a week) I thrive on the extra sleep, but sometimes I feel like it is pulling me down and causing me to be extra groggy. This reminds me of what I have learned in Psych, about SAD, which one of the main symptoms is excessive sleeping. It would be interesting to see how much more sleep people get in the fall and winter than spring.

  3. Jarrod T Skole

    In high school I always made sure i would be in bed by 11 so I could get close to 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but once I came to college everything changed. I found myself being wide awake at 12 and not wanting to go to bed at all. After a while of this I started to get sick because of exhaustion and I didn’t know what to do. Thats when I started to take naps between classes. These naps would only be for about an hour, but that was all I needed to be energized for the rest of the day. Although naps will not make up for the lack of sleep some people are dealing with, it can still benefit you. Check out this article to see how naps can be helpful for you.

  4. Francis Patrick Cotter

    Even though you point out the issue, I think you may have skipped over the most important aspect of determining the proper amount of sleep. Sleep occurs in certain stages and cycles. This is outlined in So it is not a matter of which is healthier, it is a matter of letting your body fulfill the natural sleep cycle.

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