How much sleep is too much? To begin, we need to briefly touch base on the correct amount of sleep to know how much is too much. For adults from 18-64, it is seven to nine hours. It is a range as there are many variables. These variables can be anywhere from age, sleep quality, previous sleep deprivation and for women, if you are pregnant you may require more sleep.
Now we have established a standard amount of sleep, anything over is generally a sign of physical or mental distress. Researching many websites, they all agreed on issues that can be caused by too much sleep:
- It can increase the risk of depression. This doesn’t mean if you sleep normal hours you cannot become depressed, but if you are consistently oversleeping, your risk almost doubles (from 27% -> 49%).
- It could impair the brain. A 2012 6-year study on elderly women found that those who slept less than five or greater than nine hours a night displayed changes to their brains on par with aging two years.
- It can increase diabetes risk. A small study from Quebec found that people sleeping more than eight hours a night were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. They also found that short and long sleepers gained more weight than people sleeping target sleep hours.
- It is also linked to heart problems. Long sleepers showed twice the risk of angina and 1.1 times the risk of coronary artery disease in research presented at a 2012 American College of Cardiology meeting.
- Sleeping too much can lead to an earlier death. In a review of over a dozen studies, taking into account almost 1.4 million participants, sleeping more than eight hours a night, there was a 1.3 times greater risk of death (of any cause), than those sleeping seven to eight hours a night.
If you are sleeping close to nine or more hours a night, see your doctor. They could help to determine the cause of your oversleeping.
In summary, after doing some sleep research for the Stoneridge wellness committee, it appears sleeping is much like the Thanksgiving turkey. You need to ‘cook’ the right amount of time. Too little or too much is not good or a sign you may have a mental or physical issue you need to take care of. Getting the right amount gives you the ‘reboot’ you need each day to be healthy in mind and body.
Here are some of the articles I used as research.
- Huffingtonpost.com: Sleeping Too Much
- Amerisleep.com: Oversleeping – the Health Effects
- Webmd.com: Physical Side Effect of Oversleeping
*Dan Leibel is a member of the Stoneridge Software Wellness Committee, committed to guiding and encouraging a healthy workplace culture for the body and mind.