8 hours of sleep is too much
People who can get by on four hours of sleep sometimes brag about their strength and endurance. But recent scientific studies show that a lack of sleep causes many significant changes in the body and increases your risk for serious health concerns such as obesity, disease, and even early death. Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Impact of Sleep on Health Video -- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep
- How Much Sleep Is Enough? How Much Is Too Much?
- Yes, You CAN Sleep Too Much—Here’s Why Oversleeping Is A Problem
- COVID-19 Update
- Sleeping More Than 8 Hours a Night May Be a Deadly Warning Sign
- Oversleeping: The Effects & Health Risks of Sleeping Too Much
- How Does Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep Affect Your Body?
What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep
In a world where so many of us are struggling to get enough sleep, the issue of sleeping too much might seem like a luxury problem. Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue such as depression. Sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity, and cognitive issues including difficulty with memory.
Similar to people who sleep too little, people who sleep too much have higher overall mortality risks. We talk a lot about insufficient sleep, and the risks that a lack of sleep poses for physical health, mood, relationships, and performance.
Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping, and excessive sleepiness during the day. Like its counterpart insomnia, hypersomnia has several core symptoms :.
That happens to everyone, once in a while. Sleep needs are individual. Your individual genetics. Your genes influence both your circadian rhythms and your internal sleep drive, the two primary biological sleep systems.
Your age. You may find you need 7 hours of sleep in your 20s, and 8 hours—or 6. Your activity level. Sleep is a form of energy for the body and mind, and a time for the body to recover from exertion. The more active you are, the more sleep you may need. Your health. When coping with health issues, we very often need additional rest. Your life circumstances. Stress, and periods of change or upheaval can temporarily increase your need for sleep.
At the same time, these forces often make it difficult to sleep. If stress is chronic, it can create a chronic sleep debt. All of this said, most of us, throughout our adult lifetimes, need somewhere in or near to hours of sleep a night, routinely. You might be a person who needs 6 or 6. This is similarly true at the other end of the range. Some people need 9 hours of sleep a night. I wrote most recently about oversleeping, or hypersomnia, when talking about the relationship between sleep and suicide risk.
Particularly among younger adults and teenagers, oversleeping can be a signal of depression. I just wrote about a wave of new research into the effects of poor sleep in teens. But excessive sleepiness and excessive sleeping in teens and young adults can be a red flag for depression. An estimated 40 percent or more of adults under 30 with depression experience hypersomnia.
Sleep and depression have a complex relationship. Disrupted sleep is both a symptom of depression and a contributing factor to depression. Most people with depression experience regular sleep disturbances.
And sleep problems can make depression more severe and more difficult to treat. And oversleeping is not only an issue among young people with depression. Among older adults, symptoms of insomnia may be more common. But many older adults also experience hypersomnia in connection with depression. Women, in particular, may be more likely to oversleep and feel excessively tired during the day if they are depressed.
People with depression may experience symptoms of both insomnia and hypersomnia. A study investigated how often insomnia and hypersomnia occur together in adults with depression in the US.
They also found some other striking shared characteristics. People with depression who demonstrated both insomnia and hypersomnia had:. These people were also more likely to be receiving mental health treatment, and more likely to be taking anti-depressants. These people were at times greater risk for bi-polar disorder, according to the study. Because of the close, complicated ties between sleep, circadian rhythms, and depression, it makes sense that more severe depression might often go hand in hand with more intense, variable, and wide-ranging sleep problems—including a drive to sleep excessively.
What we do know is that these conditions frequently go together. They also interfere with sleep quality and sometimes trigger excessive sleepiness and oversleeping. Any sleep disorder or sleep issue that creates sleep deprivation can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and a tendency to oversleep, to compensate for that sleep deficit. But hypersomnia is closely linked to a few sleep disorders in particular:. Narcolepsy is a neurologically-based sleep disorder where the brain lacks the ability to control sleep-wake cycles.
People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime tiredness and often strong and uncontrollable urges to sleep during the day. They often experience insomnia at night. Because their sleep is so disrupted and they have difficulty sleeping well at night, people with narcolepsy may not get excessive total amounts of sleep. But their constant excessive sleepiness and drive to sleep during the day are a specific form of hypersomnia.
These uncomfortable sensations bring about an often-urgent need to move the legs. The symptoms of RLS are most often felt when a person is lying still for a period of time, and are frequently most intense at night. People with RLS commonly experience symptoms of insomnia—the unpleasant nighttime sensations in their legs make it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea experience compromised breathing while they sleep.
During sleep, the airway becomes either partially or completely blocked for a short amount of time. These episodes happen over and over again throughout the night, causing frequent awakenings which the sleeper may or may not be aware of and leading to a steep decline in sleep quality. There are serious health conditions associated with sleep apnea, including greater risks for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Because sleep quality is so negatively affected by sleep apnea, people with OSA are often excessively sleepy during the day. They may also spend extended hours in bed, needing more time to sleep because their sleep quality is so poor. Idiopathic hypersomnia. Some people sleep excessively without a clear, identifiable cause. This is a sleep disorder known as idiopathic hypersomnia — idiopathic meaning without known cause.
People with idiopathic hypersomnia sleep for extended periods of time at night and still feel very tired during the day. Substance use disorders. Drug use and alcohol use can lead to disrupted circadian sleep-wake rhythms, declines in sleep quality, and can bring on a pattern of oversleeping and excessive daytime tiredness.
Medical conditions. There are a range of health conditions that can cause oversleeping and persistent, intrusive sleepiness during the day.
In addition, certain genetic disorders and genetic predispositions can cause hypersomnia. People with a family history of hypersomnia are more likely to experience oversleeping and daytime tiredness. A number of medications can cause hypersomnia, including:. Hypersomnia is often connected to another health condition. When you identify the underlying cause, you and your doctor can work to address both that condition and your oversleeping.
That includes other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Limit alcohol to improve your sleep quality and sleep patterns. Drinking too much, too frequently and too close to bedtime can all disrupt circadian sleep-wake rhythms and undermine high-quality sleep, leading to a need to oversleep. Avoid becoming sleep deprived and accruing a large sleep debt. Our bodies will seek the sleep they need.
Consistency is the most important element of a strong, health-promoting sleep routine. Identify the right amount of sleep you need then set up a schedule that enables you to meet that need routinely. It can take a bit of trial and error to get the amount right. How much sleep is too much? Your genes influence both your circadian rhythms and your internal sleep drive, the two primary biological sleep systems Your age.
Oversleeping and depression I wrote most recently about oversleeping, or hypersomnia, when talking about the relationship between sleep and suicide risk. People with depression who demonstrated both insomnia and hypersomnia had: More severe depression Higher rates of suicide planning and suicide attempts Higher rates of impulse control disorder Greater likelihood of drug use disordeR These people were also more likely to be receiving mental health treatment, and more likely to be taking anti-depressants.
Other causes of oversleeping Substance use disorders. Sweet Dreams, Michael J. Search for:. This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to provide a more personalized experience and to track your whereabouts around our website in compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation.
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How Much Sleep Is Enough? How Much Is Too Much?
In a world where so many of us are struggling to get enough sleep, the issue of sleeping too much might seem like a luxury problem. Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue such as depression.
We often hear about the real dangers of getting too little sleep, but on the other end of the spectrum, sleeping too much also appears to have some risks. Sleep is a rapidly growing field of research, and we are learning more all the time about how rest affects the body and mind. More evidence is showing that spending an excessive amount of time in bed is also linked with health hazards. Read on to learn about the effects of oversleeping, what to look out for and how to work towards getting healthy, quality slumber.
Yes, You CAN Sleep Too Much—Here’s Why Oversleeping Is A Problem
Exactly how much sleep should you get? Sleep needs depend mostly on age, but they are also individual. Your sleep needs may also be affected by pregnancy, aging, sleep deprivation, and sleep quality. If you get too little sleep you might consider making some lifestyle changes. It is possible to get too much of a good thing. Excessive sleepiness can be a sign of several different medical issues. And getting too much sleep can even lead to health risks. Here are the current guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation :. People with hypersomnia might require as many as 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night to feel their best.
By: Dave Asprey November 13, A study out of the University of California, San Diego paints a different story. The paper suggests the secret to a long life has to do with getting just enough sleep, not necessarily eight hours of sleep per night. Its major finding: Sleeping as little as five hours per night can be better for you than sleeping eight. The study was run by Dr.
Sleeping More Than 8 Hours a Night May Be a Deadly Warning Sign
Oversleeping: The Effects & Health Risks of Sleeping Too Much
How Does Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep Affect Your Body?