Why Do You Sleep So A lot? The Stunning Science

Reviewed by Jennifer Martin, PhD

Perhaps you have seen the headlines about how oversleeping has been linked to a higher danger of illness and dying. In case you’re the sort of one that commonly clocks greater than eight hours of slumber, these information tales have in all probability made you marvel, “Why do I sleep a lot? And is it dangerous for me?”

On this story, sleep specialists assist you perceive the newest science. You will discover out what actually occurs once you oversleep, together with the way it impacts your well being.

(Spoiler: Likelihood is, you don’t have anything to fret about.)

How a lot is an excessive amount of sleep?

On common, most individuals want someplace between seven and 9 hours of sleep every night time. However that is a median, not a good-health edict.

“As you begin to transfer out in both course, there are individuals who require barely extra and barely much less sleep,” says Chris Winter, MD, sleep specialist, writer of The Sleep Answer and The Rested Little oneand co-author of Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.

Above (and under) common sleepers fall into three principal classes.

1. Individuals who want fewer than 7 hours of sleep

Known as Pure Quick Sleepers, these genetically-gifted of us do not want as a lot sleep as the common individual.

Elevated ranges of a hormone known as orexin permits them to really feel spunky and clear-headed with simply 5 to 6 hours of shuteye.

This is an necessary caveat, although. Loads of individuals who get lower than seven hours aren’t Pure Quick Sleepers. Reasonably, they skimp on sleep for different causes, starting from revenge-bedtime procrastination to parenthood to an “all the time on” work ethic.

In case you’re word genetically a Pure Quick Sleeper, skimping on sleep doubtless means you will both…

really feel like rubbish the subsequent day

▶ will not really feel like rubbish the subsequent day—however solely since you’re so used to the consequences of sleep deprivation that you’ve got now not bear in mind what it feels wish to be nicely rested

Along with the above, over time, your danger for coronary heart illness, most cancers, and kind 2 diabetes can go up as nicely.

(Extra about sleep and well being additional down within the story.)

2. Individuals who want greater than 9 hours of sleep

Attributable to their genetic make-up, Pure Lengthy Sleepers normally want 10, 11, or 12 hours as a way to really feel refreshed. Their genetics additionally trigger them to really feel drained extra shortly than different individuals.

Additionally on this longer-sleeping class: youngsters, youngsters, and plenty of younger adults, all of whom want extra sleep so their our bodies can proceed to develop, says Jennifer Martin, PhD, Professor of Drugs on the College of California, Los Angeles and in addition a co-author of Precision Diet’s Sleep, Stress Administration, and Restoration Teaching Certification.

Sure prescription drugs can even improve sleep time, says Dr. Martin.

“Often this impact is reversed when the individual stops the medicine, and in some circumstances, the sleepiness is diminished as soon as the individual will get used to the medicine,” she says.

3. Individuals who want 13+ hours of sleep

Some individuals sleep 14, 17, 24 or extra hours with little or no interruption, they usually nonetheless wake feeling drained.

“In case you discover you’re certainly one of these individuals, it is likely to be a sign that there’s something unsuitable together with your sleep high qualitynot essentially the amount, “Dr. Winter says. For instance, sleep problems like sleep apnea and insomnia can disrupt sleep, inflicting individuals to wake feeling unrefreshed.

Quite a lot of well being circumstances—together with epilepsy, Parkinson’s illness, and despair—can even result in hypersomnia, which is the lack to remain awake. Narcolepsy, one other hypersomnia situation, causes individuals to really feel drained on a regular basis, main them to go to sleep at inappropriate and harmful instances, similar to whereas on a date or driving a car. These problems require medical therapy.

In case you suspect any of the above is true for you, it is a fantastic factor to say to your physician.

What occurs once you sleep an excessive amount of?

“For the common individual, if they’re sleeping, they in all probability should be sleeping,” says Dr. Winter.

That is as a result of our our bodies all have a sleep set level—known as “homeostasis.” Get too little sleep one night time and your physique will reply by craving extra sleep the subsequent. Alternatively, you’ll have seen: In case you gather extra sleep than traditional by sleeping in on a weekend, you will doubtless end up awake later that night.

There are, nevertheless, some exceptions. Extra about these under.

(Discover out: Would YOU make a fantastic sleep coach?)

Does oversleeping hurt your well being?

Regardless of the entire scary headlines, it’s doubtless that lengthy sleep itself poses little to no well being issues. That is as a result of, in individuals who sleep greater than most, it is usually the results of a power well being downside, not the trigger, finds analysis.1.2

Often, the issue is bi-directional, that means the well being downside disturbs sleep, which worsens the well being downside, which ends up in worsened sleep, and the cycle continues.

These well being issues embrace:

Sleep problems like sleep apnea (the place respiratory repeatedly stops throughout sleep) and narcolepsy (which is characterised by extreme daytime sleepiness and sleep assaults)




Continual fatigue syndrome

Coronary heart illness

For the above circumstances, it is necessary to notice that oversleeping would not trigger them. Reasonably, it is a symptom of them.

For instance, sleep apnea repeatedly wakes individuals, usually for transient moments, in the course of the night time, which might result in hypersomnia (extreme sleepiness in the course of the day) in addition to a robust need to remain in mattress longer than eight hours or to take a nap in the course of the afternoon.

“When medical issues disturb sleep, it takes an individual an extended time period to be recovered,” says Dr. Martin.

In case you commonly get greater than 10 hours, and you are feeling energetic and clear headed in the course of the day, that is nice! Get pleasure from your slumber with out worry. You probably don’t have anything to fret about.

Then again, when you spend your days craving a nap—drained, mind fogged, irritated, and determination fatigued—there could also be an underlying situation price exploring together with your physician.

(Be taught extra: Why individuals with insomnia swear by CBT-I.)

4 Sleep Habits That Enhance Sleep High quality

In case you’re excited by sleeping extra restfully, take into account forming any of the next sleep habits.

Create a sleep oasis. When your sleep atmosphere makes you’re feeling secure and comfortable, it is simpler to your mind to loosen up, permitting you to sleep extra deeply.

Block out mild. Your circadian rhythm responds to adjustments in mild. For most individuals, the darker the room, the higher they sleep. If you cannot get your room as darkish as wanted, take into account experimenting with a sleep masks that covers your eyes and blocks out mild.

Alter the temperature. Along with mild, your circadian rhythm additionally responds to adjustments in temperature, making you’re feeling sleepy as your physique cools down. Taking a sizzling bathtub or bathe earlier than mattress can trick your physique that it is time to sleep because it’s cooling down. One other tactic: Set your thermostat so it reduces the ambient temperature by a pair levels at night time.

If sizzling flashes are protecting you awake, take into account investing in cooling mattress pads or utilizing a fan. (Learn extra: Menopause and sleep).

Take into account sleeping alone. A loud night breathing partner or lively pet can wake you repeatedly, inflicting you to want extra sleep to really feel rested.

(Learn extra: The right way to sleep higher.)

Can sleeping an excessive amount of make you drained?

Ever seen that you just really feel extra drained once you sleep in (say, on the weekends) than you do once you stand up early?

There are two doubtless causes for this phenomenon.

1. Oversleeping is usually a response to undersleeping

Some individuals sleep 10+ hours on the weekends as a result of they’re sleeping six or fewer hours in the course of the week.

“One cause individuals really feel drained after sleeping quite a bit is that they nonetheless have not paid again their sleep money owed from prior nights,” says Dr. Martin. “In case you are very sleep disadvantaged, it takes a number of days to get again on observe and ‘catch up.’”

2. Sleeping in can disrupt sleep-wake signaling.

In case you normally wake at 6 am, sleeping in on the weekends will disrupt your mind’s capability to launch the neurochemicals wanted for that refreshed, ready-to-slay-the-world feeling.

“It is actually extra about sleep timing than sleep quantity,” explains Dr. Winter. “The mind’s timing cues are being disrupted.”

Amongst these timing cues:

Overhead and out of doors mild that units your mind’s circadian clock

The blaring noise of your alarm clock that triggers the discharge of cortisol and different alertness chemical substances

Conversations with housemates that nudge you to “get up! assume!”



That feeling of being rushed as you race out the door

Once you often oversleep, you deprive your mind of some or all of these cues. A number of the wakeup indicators won’t happen in any respect. Others, like overhead lighting and caffeine, happen hours later than your mind is used to getting them.

Finish end result: you’re feeling drained.

How will you inform when you’re sleeping an excessive amount of?

Dr. Winter suggests you take into account this query:

Through the day, when you sit all the way down to learn a e-book or watch a present, do you’re feeling a robust urge to nod off?

If the reply is sure, it is a sign that you just’re not getting sufficient restorative sleep at night time, which can be an indication of a sleep problem or sleep high quality situation, he says.

Then again, when you’re clocking a variety of bedtime hours and really feel energized in the course of the day, 10+ hours may simply be your pure sleep sample.

“In case you are a protracted sleeper and really feel good, don’t be concerned about it,” says Dr. Martin. “Do your greatest to spend the period of time in mattress you want.”


Click on right here to view the knowledge sources referenced on this article.

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