Can You Get Too Much Sleep?

Everyday, after getting only about 5 hours of sleep, I wake up and tell myself “I’m going to bed early tonight.” Spoiler alert: I never end up going to bed early. So what usually happens is that I am so exhausted by the end of the week that I sleep for 10-11 hours on Friday and Saturday. I would wake up after getting 10 hours of sleep and still be tired. This made me question how I could get so much sleep and still wake up tired. Well there is a term for that, and the term for getting too much sleep is “oversleeping”.

Image result for oversleep meme

In my personal case, the question I thought to myself was “can oversleeping be causing unhealthy side effects?” From that question, I developed a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. My null hypothesis is that oversleeping causes no adverse health effects. The alternative hypothesis is oversleeping does cause adverse health effects. After developing these hypotheses, I had to find the answer. I researched the topic and found that oversleeping can be detrimental to one’s health.

Oversleeping is a real problem, especially among college students. Many students, like myself, sleep in very late on weekends to try to catch up on the sleep they missed throughout the week. Oversleeping can actually have adverse effects on a person’s health.

During my research, I found that there are a multitude of side effects from over sleeping. This article from the Huffington Post describes a few of them. The main side effects are headaches, heart disease, and diabetes. The headaches are often caused from the internal clock of the body not matching the external environment. They can also be caused by the amount of dreaming and work your body is experiencing while you sleep. Heart disease has one of the scariest correlations with oversleeping. A study showed that the risk for heart disease increases by 38% in those who oversleep. Another frightening correlation is the one between oversleeping and diabetes. Its shown that those who oversleep have a 50% higher chance of having diabetes.

These correlations between over sleeping and side effects worry someone like me, but remember, they are just correlations. We know that correlation does not always equal causation. Oversleeping is not known to be a cause of heart disease and diabetes, it just has strong correlations to these side effects.These side effects are also based on people who oversleep daily. For someone who only oversleeps every so often, they probably will not be affected by the side effects. Even after doing this research, I will probably continue to oversleep at times. I will try to lower the amount of times I do it, but I like sleeping too much to stop oversleeping completely. In the end, just try to get the right amount of sleep every night, and you will most likely be much healthier and happier.


5 thoughts on “Can You Get Too Much Sleep?

  1. Jason Schwartz

    I love this article, I can completely relate to you in the fact that I never get enough sleep, but when I do I feel like its too much. Along with over-sleeping I know there are many side effects for under-sleeping also. Many different reactions can come from it such as: fatigue and multiple diseases. I would recommend reading up on the article below to help prevent this from happening to you and fixing your sleep.

  2. Derek William Drotman

    Since I got to college it is definitely a lot harder to get a good night sleep. Im lucky to get 6 hours a night which compared to the 9 hours I got in high school. I can see it already affecting my energy level, thankfully red bulls and energy drinks are getting me through the middle of this semester. I do agree with your article because once a week i usually sleep all day but this doesn’t make me feel any better. I believe over sleeping causes me to feel a little weaker and even more tired and lazy. My next question would be if napping actually can help from experiencing negative outcomes instead of sleeping too much during one period of time. Great article I really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Devon Buono

    This topic is all about me. There are maybe one, or two nights a week where I do not sleep at all. The next day I crawl to class, and then sleep the rest of the day away. Even though I end up spending 10 hours plus in my bed, I never feel refreshed. After reading your post, I decided to find a more credible source discussing the topic. My findings were very similar to yours! I found an article that explained why we feel sick. It stated that oversleeping messes with our natural biological clock (Which you stated). Our body only needs a specific amount of sleep, and when we oversleep, and we confuse our body. This article went on to say that we may get out of bed and start our day around noon, but our body will start to use our stored energy earlier while we are still asleep ( Since our body had already started to expend our energy, we are going to feel less lively. The lack of energy causes us to feel sick when we wake up. I really enjoyed your post because it got me to research the topic for myself. Your post helped me realize why I feel sick after I oversleep, and pointed out the dangers sleeping for an excessive amount of time.

  4. Thomas John Krieger

    I really liked this topic. I don’t sleep very much, so I always joke around with my friends and say they over sleep. I never knew about the correlated side effects, but I like how you reinforced that correlation doesn’t equal causation. I don’t completely agree with you that you are oversleeping on the weekend though. I wrote one of my blogs about sleep, and it turns out that if we don’t get enough sleep during the week we can create a sleep debt. This is probably why you tend to sleep so much extra on the weekends.

  5. Wencong Wang

    Thanks for share this Brett! I have a problem of oversleep. I usually stay up late during working day, and as you, I will chose weekend to sleep more for recover. But everytime I oversleep, I feel no energy and headaches all day. I start to think oversleep may not recover me very well! Also, as your research shows there are lots of side effect of oversleep, and it may be very harmful. Here is a youtube video I found that may help you to overcome oversleep. It provides 5 early rising tips that may help you. It is hard for people to overcome it, but a good habit is really helpful for you to get a healthy body and good grade in college. Hope you can overcome it!

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