Oversleeping: Bad For Your Health? 5 Tips & Tricks for Healthy Sleep

Oversleeping: Bad For Your Health? 5 Tips & Tricks for Healthy Sleep

Healthy sleep is important. It’s no secret that having a good night’s sleep is connected to numerous health benefits, while undersleeping can have plenty of adverse side effects. But is it possible to get too much sleep?

In a world where it's sometimes difficult to get enough sleep, it may seem that a few extra hours would be beneficial. This is not the case. Oversleeping also comes with a long list of negative side effects and may indicate a deeper problem. 

What is oversleeping? 

Oversleeping is a term used to describe when a person sleeps more than 9 hours within a 24 hour period. Oversleeping can be a one-time occurrence—due to previous sleep deprivation or physical strain on the body—or a recurring pattern that might indicate a more serious issue. 

Just as too little sleep can impact our daytime functionality and mental health, so can oversleeping. It's important to understand the side effects of oversleeping and take steps to avoid occurrences.

What are the side effects of oversleeping? 

Side effects of sleeping too much can vary from mild to extreme. The severity of the effects also depends on how frequently it happens and the cause. 

Occasional oversleeping

Most of us have experienced occasional oversleeping, especially on the weekend, brought on by undersleeping during the week. 

With only one or two days of oversleeping, you may experience the following effects:

  • Difficulty waking up

  • Oversleeping: Bad For Your Health? 5 Tips & Tricks for Healthy SleepSluggishness

  • Daytime tiredness

  • Difficulty concentrating

Frequent oversleeping

Regularly oversleeping can have much more serious consequences on our health and daily lives. Side effects include: 

  • Headaches

  • Inflammation

  • Face puffiness

  • Depression

  • Increased risk of heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

If you experience long and chronic bouts of oversleeping, it's a good idea to consult a doctor.

What causes oversleeping? 

There are several factors that can contribute to oversleeping.

Viral infections, such as the common cold, may lead to a day or two of excessive sleep as our bodies try to fight the infection. Travel, strenuous activity, or attempts to correct sleep deprivation (otherwise known as “sleep debt”) may also cause us to oversleep. Certain medications could also be a culprit.

Health conditions and sleep disorders

An underlying medical condition or sleep disorder can make it difficult for us to get to sleep or maintain the proper amount of deep sleep, which then lead to cases of regular oversleeping. Medical conditions associated with oversleeping are as follows: 

  • Insomnia

  • Sleep apnea: a disorder that causes you to stop breathing periodically during sleep 

  • Restless leg syndrome: a brain disorder that causes an overwhelming urge to move legs during sleep 

  • Bruxism: clenching jaw during sleep 

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Chronic pain 

  • Medication 

  • Thyroid disorders

  • Heart disease 

  • Narcolepsy 

  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome 

  • Idiopathic hypersomnia 

How much sleep is too much sleep?

The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep needs vary from person to person depending on age and lifestyle, however, within this range is considered a healthy amount of sleep. 

Insufficient sleep is incredibly common, with 35.2% of US adults reporting that they get less than 7 hours on average. Lack of sleep can lead to a host of negative side effects, such as lack of concentration, sluggishness, and decreased alertness. 

Sleeping too much, while less common, can be equally detrimental. If you are averaging more than 9 hours per night as an adult it might be time to look at your sleep habits more carefully. If you are averaging more than 9 hours and also feel excessive sleepiness during the day, it might be time to check with a health care provider. 

Oversleeping versus hypersomnia

Sometimes we need a few extra hours to reverse sleep debt or allow our bodies to heal. However, those that experience consistent oversleeping may have a condition known as hypersomnia. Those with hypersomnia will typically sleep 10-12 hours each day, but still experience overtiredness or feel the urge to take naps. 

Hypersomnia affects 2% of the population and usually starts in childhood. 

Children and teenagers

Teenagers are notorious oversleepers. This may be due to an inconsistent sleep schedule, late-night cram sessions, or other activities that disrupt sleep, such as using devices that emit blue light before bed. That said, the sleep needs of children and teenagers differ from adults -- the extra hours of sleep might be nothing to be concerned about.

How much sleep? Let's take a look at the ideal number of hours depending on age:

  • Infants: 12-15 hours

  • Toddlers: 11-14 hours

  • Preschool-age children: 10-13 hours

  • School-age children: 9-11 hours

  • Teenagers: 8-10 hours

This doesn't mean children or teenagers are immune to oversleeping. If your child or teenager is sleeping significantly more than their range (or for an extended period), it may indicate that their sleep is unhealthy. 

Sleep tips for a good night’s rest 

If you're struggling with oversleeping, it’s a sign to check in on your sleep hygiene.

Our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm, which helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. Poor sleep health can wreak havoc on this system.

Here are our top five tips for healthy sleep and to prevent oversleeping:

  1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule 

An essential part of good sleep hygiene is consistency. By consistently going to sleep and waking up at the same time, you support your natural body clock which knows when it's time to fall asleep and wake up.

Set a defined sleep and wake time and stick to it. We know it can be difficult, especially with the curve balls life can throw and the temptation of hitting snooze on the weekends but trust us, it's worth it!

  1. Create a bedtime routine 

Stress and stimulation can affect our ability to rest. Having a wind-down or bedtime routine can help alleviate stress and prepare our nervous system for nighttime sleep. 

A bedtime routine may look different for each person. Here are a few ideas of how to wind down before bed:

  • Take a warm shower 

  • Drink a nice cup of herbal tea 

  • Read 

  • Stretch 

  • Journal 

  • Meditate 

  • Prepare for the next day 

Building a healthy bedtime routine includes reducing activities that could disrupt sleep. Avoid using devices that emit blue light, which markedly interfere with our circadian rhythm and natural sleep cycles. 

Avoid large meals, caffeine, or chocolate before bed as these could also lead to trouble sleeping.

  1. Regulate your sleep environment 

When your body is too hot or too cold, it can lead to poor sleep. Make sure your room is kept at a comfortable temperature and invest in high-quality bed linens that properly fit your bed and your sleep style.  

If you are a hot sleeper, for example, look for sheets that are made from a breathable and lightweight material such as cotton or linen. These materials can help keep you cool at night, so you can avoid feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.

Those that run cold are better suited for sheets made from flannel, wool, or microfiber, which tend to trap body heat, keeping us nice and warm even when it’s chilly outside. 

Pay attention to how your neck and body feel when you are lying down in bed. If your pillow is too hard or too soft, it may be affecting your ability to sleep properly. If you experience pain, consider adding additional pillows to your set-up. Try a body pillow for extra support or to have something to squeeze during the night.

  1. Stay active 

Exercise and physical activity have a number of health benefits, including better coordination, increased mood, higher cognitive function, and disease prevention. According to John Hopkins, engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day is linked to better sleep. 

It’s important to note that aerobic exercise should be a daytime activity. Participating in activities that raise our heart rate within 1-2 hours of bedtime may have the opposite effect, making it harder for us to fall asleep. 

  1. Keep a sleep diary 

If you notice long bouts of oversleeping which are affecting your daily life, try keeping a sleep journal. Take note of your daily activity, bedtime routine, environment, and anything that may be impeding your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This includes hunger, thirst, anxiety, pain, etc.

Keeping track of your sleep habits may help you narrow down the problem. It also allows doctors to see the full picture when diagnosing any sleep disorders or providing advice for better sleep. Based on your self-reporting, a doctor may recommend changes in lifestyle habits, sleep medicine, or send you to a sleep center to participate in a sleep study.

The bottom line

Mellanni knows how nice it is to stay in bed every once in a while. It’s normal to want to reach for the snooze button to catch a few extra hours, especially on the weekend. Sleeping too much may be a consequence of previous sleep deprivation caused by poor sleep hygiene or a stressful deadline. 

Occasional oversleeping may be inevitable, but if it becomes a consistent practice, it may have negative consequences on our daily lives. 

That’s why it’s important to prioritize healthy sleep habits throughout the week. Our top-of-the-line products can help you do just that: 

  • For a blissful and eco-friendly night’s sleep, try our Organic Cotton Bed Sheet Set, made with 100% organic long-staple cotton. 

  • Looking for something luxurious, yet affordable? Check out the double-brushed microfiber 1800 Bed Sheet Set

  • If you’re a hot sleeper, our 100% Flax Linen Bed Sheet Set is the perfect solution for a cool, breathable sleeping environment. 

  • Update your head and neck support with one of our fluffy, but firm premium pillows. Try our resilient, 100% virgin-polyester body pillow for the highest level of comfort and support. 

  • Choose one of our high-quality duvet covers for a comfortable, soft, and easy way to keep your duvet protected and your body cozy. 

Thanks for reading! We hope you get a fantastic nice sleep. 

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