Is There a Such Thing as Too Much Sleep?

Posted by Bethaney Wallace on 30th Apr 2014

It seems as though every day we (or someone) is talking about not having gotten enough sleep. Whether they woke up tossing and turning, resting on an unsupportive mattress, or simply having too much to do, there are a number of reasons folks don’t get enough sleep each night.

But is there a such thing as getting too much sleep? Though it may sound odd, it can be just as harmful to the body to have too much resting hours as it can to not have enough. Sleep is important for the body to regain certain functions, relax, and essentially “recharge” its batteries. While, in contrast, getting too much sleep can leave you just as unrested as you are when receiving too little. The key is to find a happy medium and create an ideal ratio between sleep and non-sleeping hours. Where too much, too little, and just right create a uniform decision – where they help you create the baby bears of sleeping times.

That way you can feel rested each day, but without being stressed or over exerted in any capacity. From too much sleep to too little.

What Happens With Too Much Sleep?

When the body receives too much sleep (or even just rest), a number of things can happen. Most notably, however, the body isn't able to get the proper exercise it needs throughout the day. Muscles need to be stretched and worked in order for the body to stay healthy, and too much sleep can prevent this from happening. Inactivity also slows down oxygen, blood, and nutrient flow throughout the body. This can lead to decreased body functions, such as weight gain, slower digestion, and more. Over time, this can increase areas of already weakened health. For instance, the elderly, or those who have ongoing conditions such as diabetes or muscle aches.

The body also has a harder time waking for the day when more sleep than necessary has been had. This leads to one being groggy, fuzzy, or even irritable throughout the day. Meaning that, ironically, the very thing you did too much of causes you to want more of the same thing. Like sleeping were an addiction that left you tired and groggy after an over-extended fix.

How to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

On weekends or days that you have time, leave the alarm on silent and sleep in as long as your body naturally allows. After a few weeks of this you’ll be able to “catch up” on sleep. Then, you can use the same trick to see how long your body needs to rest each night. Obviously you might need more rest after a long day or excessive workouts, but for the most part, each person will require the same amount of sleep each day. It’s also important to realize that different people require different amounts of sleep. Therefore it’s important to figure out your own customized time period.

Once you are caught up on sleep and have your natural schedule figured out, you can consider necessary time before heading to bed. The body will also self regulate over time, allowing you to wake up naturally and on time every day. Long term, you can wake up naturally, rested, and work toward being a well-rested individual on a regular basis.

To get the right amount of sleep, look into regulating your hours of rest each night. That way you can avoiding getting too little sleep as much as you can getting too much.

Get started on your new sleeping routine but “catching up” and resting better today.