Can You Get Too Much Sleep?

Most people have to worry about not getting enough sleep rather than getting too much sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third of American adults do not get enough sleep — 35% of U.S. adults get fewer than seven hours of sleep each night. But there are also some who get too much sleep. While getting too much sleep might sound like a good problem to have, it could indicate an underlying health issue.

How much sleep is too much sleep?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. This is the recommended amount of sleep for the average person. Some can get by with a little less, while others need a little more.

Sleeping in on Saturdays or taking the occasional nap isn’t the problem. Oversleeping, or sleeping too much, is an issue when you consistently get more than the recommended amount of sleep, and still feel tired.

Is too much sleep bad for you?

Occasionally sleeping in on the weekend may be just what you need to feel happy and rested. Sometimes lifestyle changes — a new work schedule, a stepped-up exercise regimen, or late nights studying or socializing — can make a person tired and sleepy. Feeling tired regularly and consistently getting more than the recommended amount of sleep can indicate an underlying health issue, however.

It's not certain whether sleeping too much contributes to negative health effects, or if illness leads to more time spent sleeping. Either way, talk to your doctor if you're constantly tired, sleepy, or fatigued. Click To Tweet

Regularly getting too much sleep may increase your risk for certain health issues:

  • headaches
  • depression
  • type 2 diabetes
  • back pain
  • back problems
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • metabolic syndrome

Again, oversleeping can indicate an underlying health issue; so can not getting enough sleep. Talk to your primary care provider if you’re concerned about feeling tired, sleepy, and fatigued. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist. Call 479-582-7330 to contact a sleep specialist in Northwest Arkansas.

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