Most of us dream of the day we’d consider ourselves getting too much sleep…
We’re always hearing about the dangers of a lack of rest at night, but what about the other way round? Let’s turn it on its head.
So, can you get too much sleep?
Here’s the short answer: yes you can.
Unconvinced? Let’s delve deeper and take a closer look at exactly why that is.
How Many Hours Per Night Do You Need?
The optimum amount of sleep has been considered eight hours for a long time.
However, it isn’t quite as fixed as people think. Some people need a little more, others a little less. Anywhere between 7 and 9 hours is the standard for most adults, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
Of course - children or those with certain medical conditions need a few more hours of sleep than that.
A Personal Issue
To put it simply: needs individual to your situation. They depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Activity level
- Health problems
- Stress levels
- Life circumstances
How Much Sleep is Too Much?
If you’re regularly sleeping more than 9 hours a night, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Particularly if you’re waking up and still feeling tired.
Or, do you feel like you constantly have to lie in to catch up on rest? Once in a while is fine, everyday should send alarm bells ringing.
An underlying problem could be a sleep disorder or particular medical condition, for example.
The Impact on Your Health
There are a number of problems that are associated with oversleeping. It’s important to be aware of the potential issues to ensure you aren’t spending too long in bed at night.
Longer sleep durations have a number of risk factors, and have been linked to:
- Increased risk of diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease
- Low energy
- Memory loss
- Fertility problems
- Inflammation of certain joints
- Decreased cognition
- Increased risk of dementia
- Higher rates of suicidal thoughts
- Greater chance of drug or alcohol abuse
Why Do People Oversleep?
There are a number of reasons behind spending longer in bed than we should be.
Poor Sleeping Surface
Is the surface you’re sleeping on comfortable enough? You may not know where to start when it comes to how to choose a mattress.
Foam density will affect your mattress and the feel of it.
What’s more, your mattress can also help assist with back pain or other aches. Are you sure you’re getting as much as you should be out of yours?
Hypersomnia causes people to sleep without a clear cause or reason why. It means they have trouble staying awake in the day - and can fall asleep at any time in the day.
Obstructive sleep apnea messes with the body’s natural rhythms and patterns, causing people to feel tired due to a lack of rest. The condition causes people to briefly stop breathing at night - which can require intervention from medical equipment. For some sufferers, getting a quality sleep each night is nearly impossible.
Narcolepsy disrupts the body’s ability to control natural cycles. People can fall asleep at anytime in the day, and then sometimes suffer from insomnia at night.
Conditions such as depression or anxiety can prevent people from getting a proper rest at night.
The tendency can be to spend longer in bed, however this then contributes to poor mental health and makes the problem worse. It’s a vicious cycle many sufferers find themselves in - and can be extremely difficult to break.
Drug or alcohol abuse lead to disrupted circadian rhythms, preventing you from sleeping properly.
Many of us believe alcohol is beneficial for nodding off, however, it’s often having a negative impact. You spend less time in a more restful Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, meaning you often feel tired when you wake up.
Drinking lots before bed can also be disruptive, forcing you to get up multiple in the night to use the bathroom, for example.
Overuse of Sleeping Pills
Self-prescribing sleep medication can wreak havoc with your body and its natural cycles. Many find that without pills, they can’t sleep at all.
Certain medications, such as anti-anxiety, can prevent you from getting the amount of rest you need at night.
How to Deal With the Problem of Oversleeping
There are ways to make sure you get the right amount of sleep at night. It can be difficult to break any patterns, but these tips can help:
Watch Your Weekends
It’s tempting to lie in and spend more time in bed over the weekend. However, this can throw your circadian rhythms out of balance, causing you to struggle to nod off in the week.
Try and avoid alcohol before bed if possible. This should help ensure you fall into a restful night’s sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed throughout the day.
Use Natural Light
Natural light helps you wake up - and stay awake.
Napping excessively will throw your body completely out of sync, particularly if you take one after 4pm.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Try and reduce, or completely cut out, your intake of caffeine - especially in the afternoons. This can stop you tossing and turning restlessly at night, unable to sleep.
Get a Better Mattress
The surface you’re sleeping on has a significant impact on how much sleep you’re getting - and its quality.
You’ll want a mattress that offers support, maximum comfort and airflow.
Despite what you may think - this needn’t break the bank! The perfect night’s sleep can be affordable, without compromising on a luxurious feel.
Browse our range of memory foam mattresses to see what we have on offer.