Is Too Much Sleep a Bad Thing?

We always hear about what happens when you don’t get enough sleep, but what about when you sleep too much? There is such a thing as being too “well rested”, and it can leave you with some tiring side effects.

A good night’s sleep is essential to your health. While the number of hours recommended varies based on age and additional factors, the average adult needs 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a night. But what happens when you hit that snooze button and keep on dreaming for a few hours? We sometimes end up feeling even more tired when we wake up, and WebMD notes that oversleeping can be linked to health problems such as back pain, obesity and headaches. While side effects aren’t as drastic as never getting enough sleep, oversleeping is still not a good practice.

Ever take advantage of the weekend and sleep until mid-morning, hoping to wake up more energized than your normal weekday morning? Oversleeping in this manner can actually confuse your body’s rhythm—the circadian rhythm to be exact. Your internal clock is ready to wake at 7am and when you don’t get out of bed until noon, it throws off your circadian rhythm and confuses your mind and body. The effect is similar to jet lag. You’ll likely feel more lethargic, sluggish—and maybe even have a headache.

If you’re oversleeping due to lifestyle, such as working odd hours where sleep may be needed during the day or trouble with insomnia that leaves you in bed longer than usual, try adjusting your bedroom environment to make it more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Get black out shades for a distraction-free slumber. When your lights are out, you don’t want to have anything catching your eye and affecting your quality of sleep. They even make black out blinds for travel! These shades are easy to install and bring on the go.

Use an app or light therapy to increase the light in your room as your morning wakeup time approaches. Your body naturally reacts to light and darkness for sleep. By using smart lights, such as Philips hue, to gradually lighten a room, you’ll wake up in a gentler manner.

Leave your phone on a surface not reachable while in bed. This will discourage you from staring at your phone’s screen as you ready for sleep. Research shows that the blue light from phone, tablet and laptops can suppress the emission of melatonin, the hormone that influences our sleep cycle. An additional benefit of leaving your phone on the other side of the room: you need to wake up and get out of bed to turn it off, making you less likely to hit snooze and retreat to the covers.


Author: Allison Klibanoff