Can Too Much Sleep Be Bad for You?

Are you sleeping too much?

Ok, I get it, most people don’t probably feel this way. Most people don’t feel like they get enough sleep…most of the time. What about the weekend though? What about that holiday break? There are actually more people than you would guess out there that do get TOO MUCH sleep. And it’s not as harmless as you would think. Here are some quick statistics about sleeping too much…

These statistics refer to getting OVER 9 hours of sleep per night on a consistent basis:

1. Increased risk of depression and cases of dementia
2. 44% increase in CRP = INFLAMMATION
3. Increased incidence of low back pain and headaches
4. Decreased fertility – 43% less fertile on average
5. Impaired glucose tolerance – 20% less = increased risk of diabetes
6. 21% increase in chance of being obese
7. 10-20% increased risk of heart disease
8. 46% higher incidence of stroke

These are all fairly significant side-effects of getting too much sleep. Most people always consider the other side of the equation…too little sleep. This is true. There are many problems associated with it, but there are quite a few silent issues with hanging out in bed until 10am!

So, the next time you wonder why you aren’t quite feeling yourself on a Saturday after you’ve slept for 11 hours, think about this article. Again, most of the time these statistics are referring to a long period of time of oversleeping, but even the consistent long sleeps on weekends do add up.

My suggestion for sleeping is, get yourself in a pattern where you start waking up on your own without an alarm clock in that 7-9hr time frame. The next week of vacation you take, give it a try. Go to bed at the same time every night and when you wake in the morning on your own, just get up. Don’t fall back asleep. Being consistent is the key. You can train your body and you will begin to feel better. It’s how we are designed!

Dr. Brett

Brett McDonough