Updated at: 12-07-2022 - By: Jane

Most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Surely an extra hour or two won’t hurt. Is it unhealthy to get more than nine hours of sleep? Wrong. Something more serious could be going on. How much sleep is too much sleep?

Although the “correct” amount of sleep for each person is subjective and will differ from one person to the next, nine hours or more of sleep per night is considered excessive for an adult. There are a number of possible explanations for your unusually high levels of sleep. Here are ten reasons why you might be sleeping too much.

In the past, you may have wondered, “Why do I sleep so much?” or “Why do I usually feel so exhausted?” Find out why and what to do if you or someone you care about has trouble staying awake throughout the day because they’re drowsy all the time or sleeps too late at night.

Is Excessive Sleepiness Common?

You’re not alone if you’re wondering why you’re so drowsy. Hypersomnia, or excessive sleepiness, affects approximately 40% of the population on a regular basis.

Oversleeping and oversleeping are medically referred to as hypersomnia. It is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness or an abnormally high quantity of sleep time (usually way beyond the recommended 7-9 hours). It’s a little inconvenient at work, but a lot more dangerous while driving for those with hypersomnia.

Should I Be Concerned if I Get Excessive Sleep?

As you may be aware, getting enough sleep is vital to one’s health. Excessive drowsiness isn’t always an indication of a problem. It’s not uncommon to experience occasional bouts of tiredness that result in a few nights of excessive sleep. Yet, if the feelings of exhaustion are interfering with the quality of your life, you should consider making specific lifestyle changes, or getting tested for certain sleep disorders.

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You probably already know how important it is to get enough sleep to stay healthy. Excessive drowsiness isn’t always an indication of a problem, however. A few nights of extra sleep due to occasional tiredness is not uncommon. You should get evaluated for sleep disorders if your weariness is interfering with your quality of life or if you are considering making particular lifestyle adjustments.

If you’re feeling groggy all the time, take a look at what might be making you so tired. Some of these sleep disturbances aren’t life-threatening and can be explained by transitory shifts in sleep patterns.

Oversleeping vs. hypersomnia: What does it mean when you sleep a lot?

Adults who oversleep are those who sleep for longer than the 7 to 9 hours per day suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hypersomnia is when you sleep 7 to 9 hours at night but are still exhausted during the day. Even if you receive the necessary number of hours of sleep each night, hypersomnia is a medical disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. Hypersomnia is a common symptom of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Hypersomnia can be accompanied by a number of other symptoms, such as:

  • excessive sleepiness throughout the afternoon and needing more rest at night
  • napping frequently during the day (even at inappropriate times like at work or during meals)
  • even after a nap, I’m still tired and exhausted
  • waking up in the middle of the night and feeling bewildered
    • anxiety
    • irritability
    • high level of inactivity
    • restlessness
    • time spent pondering one’s words
    • low hunger
    • hallucinations
    • issues with memory

What causes oversleeping and extreme tiredness?

Getting a good night’s sleep can have a profound effect on the rest of your body and your life. Sleep can be disrupted by issues related to your health, employment, and environment.

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Here are a few possible explanations for your excessive slumber.

1. Not getting enough sleep

After sleeping less than seven hours at night on a regular basis, falling asleep during the day may be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep at night.

Sleeping more isn’t always doable (we see you new parents, nightshift workers, and constant WFH-ers). However, if you can make sleep a priority, you may be able to go back on the right track.

2. A hostile sleep environment

Why don’t you ask for a quieter, cooler or darker bedroom? Temperature, light, and noise can all disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Sharing a bed with a close friend In addition, Netflix may be a difficulty as well. When using TVs and smartphones while sleeping, they can be a huge source of distraction, noise and light in the room.

3. Sleep and neurological disorders

It is possible to suffer from a variety of sleep disorders. Nevertheless, several of these conditions may result in excessive sleeping or difficulty remaining awake during the day.

The following are examples of frequent offenders:

  • Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that disrupts the brain’s ability to regulate sleep and wakefulness. Muscle weakness (cataplexy), sleep paralysis, and visual hallucinations are all common symptoms. People with narcolepsy frequently suffer from “sleep attacks,” which are bouts of intense sleepiness.
  • Parasomnia. If you’re a motivated sleepwalker, you might do things like put away your laundry while you’re still asleep if you have this sleep condition.
  • Repetitive leg movements. Your legs may feel tingling, uncomfortable, or the want to move as you go off to sleep.
  • Sleep apnea with obstruction (OSA). OSA sufferers stop breathing for short periods of time while they sleep. Interrupted sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of health issues, including daytime sleepiness and drowsiness.

4. Circadian rhythm problems

The light you see throughout the day aids your brain in maintaining a regular circadian cycle. Temperature, drowsiness and alertness are all affected by this.

Some people’s circadian rhythms are disrupted by excessive or insufficient light exposure or shift work and jet lag.

Getting a dosage of sunlight (or artificial sunlight) early in the day and keeping your room entirely dark while you sleep will help alleviate circadian rhythm abnormalities. The sleep hormone, melatonin, can be produced in the proper amounts with this method.

5. Alcohol use

Despite the fact that drinking alcohol too close to bedtime may make you feel sleepy, the disruption to your sleep is enough to leave you feeling fatigued the next day.

Because alcohol disrupts rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during the first few hours, you may find yourself waking up more frequently as a result.

6. Injuries and pain

It can be extremely difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep if you are suffering from chronic pain or a temporary injury. Prescription painkillers can also have a sedative effect, making you more weary and prone to falling asleep during the day.

7. Being sick

The inflammatory response increases your desire for sleep when your immune system is stimulated as a result of an infection or disease. Getting too little sleep, on the other hand, compromises your immune system and your ability to fight off infection.

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Sleep deprivation is a necessary part of the healing process while you are sick.

8. Depression and anxiety

Anxiety and depression can both leave you feeling exhausted and interfere with your sleep, but this varies from person to person.

The inability to get out of bed in the morning, the feeling of restlessness or acute exhaustion are all common symptoms of depression. In some cases, depression might be caused by a medical ailment or a sleep disturbance.

A lack of energy and sleep problems like difficulty falling or staying asleep might be caused by worrying thoughts and overpowering feelings of anxiety. Even while sleeplessness and anxiety are frequently associated, no one knows exactly how the two are connected.

Anxiety and sadness might cause you to sleep more or less, so if you suspect this is the case, seeing a doctor or therapist can help.

9. Underlying medical conditions

Fatigue can be caused by a wide range of medical disorders. Excessive tiredness can be a symptom of a variety of illnesses and ailments.

  • syndrome of continuous exhaustion (CFS). Pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms are exacerbated by physical activity in people with this illness.
  • Hypothyroidism. Low thyroid hormone levels are a sign of an underactive thyroid. This leads to exhaustion.
  • Anemia. Iron or vitamin B-12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia, which in turn can lead to weariness.
  • Fibromyalgia. Musculoskeletal pain, exhaustion, sleep, memory, and mood problems are all symptoms of a disease known as fibromyalgia.

10. Medications

Check the side effects listed on your over-the-counter and prescription meds. Drowsiness is a common side effect of certain medications. Some of the most likely offenders include:

  • Make sure you are aware of the possible negative effects of any medications you are taking. Certain drugs frequently cause drowsiness as a negative effect. Others to watch out for include:
  • antihistamines
  • antidepressants
  • beta-blockers
  • narcotics to alleviate nausea

Is sleeping too much a problem? Risks of oversleeping

Short and long-term health consequences of sleep disturbance and poor sleep quality can be found. It’s possible that you’ll feel more anxious, have decreased insulin sensitivity, and have an increased desire to eat because of this. Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer over time.

If you’re driving or working in a place where safety precautions are required, you’re more likely to be injured or perhaps die if you’re sleep deprived.

Should you get help if you’re sleeping a lot?

Oversleeping could be a sign of something more serious. If your exhaustion is unexplained or accompanied by other symptoms, talk to your doctor about it. They can assist diagnose the issue and prescribe treatment that will improve your sleep and general health.

Improving your sleep, your mental health, and your physical health are all intertwined, so any one of these will have a positive impact on the others.

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Tips to prevent sleeping too much

Get ready to stop sleeping through your alarm and falling asleep in the office. If you aren’t oversleeping because of a medical problem, making the following lifestyle modifications may help you sleep better:

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time for the sake of your health and well-being.
  • Exercise for 20–30 minutes a day, but avoid doing so in the late evening when it may be more difficult to drift off to sleep later.
  • Caffeine should be avoided towards the end of the day, as it might have a negative impact on sleep.
  • Avoid drinking too close to bedtime.
  • Take a bath or read a book before going to bed to help you wind down for the night.
  • Make your bedroom a haven of peace and quiet, with a temperature that’s just right for sleeping. Keep electrical devices such as televisions out of bedrooms.
  • Try getting up and doing something else till you’re tired if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Bottom line

There is a wide range of sleep preferences and routines among people. There may be an underlying issue if you’re sleeping more than 7 to 9 hours a night or falling asleep during the day on a frequent basis.

Make sleep hygiene a top priority by making changes to your sleeping environment and consulting with your physician about any symptoms of sleep deprivation. Could your exhaustion be due to a medical issue or medication?

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