4 Reasons Why You Are Sleeping Too Much

Too much of everything is not great, including sleep

sleeping too much reasons

In this post, you’ll discover the reasons why you are sleeping too much.

Sleep is important. It helps us improve our alertness and memory, improves our immunity, and prevent unnecessary weight gain.

But what if you’re sleeping too much?

Is that even a thing? And if that’s a thing, how do you know what ‘too much’ is?

Let’s dive in to get some answers.

How much is sleeping too much?

Sleeping too much means you sleep more hours than is required.

How many hours should you sleep then? The National Sleep Foundation gathered some of the brightest leading scientists to find out.

After the scientists reviewed over 300 scientific studies, the researchers found that the hours of sleep a person needs varies based on the age of the person.

In general, the study suggests seven to nine hours of sleep for people above 18 years. 

Preschoolers, infants, toddlers, and newborns need more hours of sleep.

So depending on your age, anything more than 10 hours a day regularly is too much.

Is sleeping too much bad?

While getting a good sleep regularly has so many health benefits, sleeping too much is also linked to other risks.

Some of these health risks are mental and others are physical. Examples include: 

  • Depression
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Migraines
  • Sluggishness and low reaction times

Studies can’t confirm it these factors are the cause of oversleeping. It’s likely that sleeping to much rather leads to these risks.

So let’s look at some explanations for why you’re sleeping too much

Why am I sleeping too much?

There could be a few reasons why you’re sleeping too much. Here are three commons reasons

1. Sleep debt 

Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you need to make up for the sleep you should have gotten. 

As we’ve seen, most experts agree that at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is ideal to help be productive.

So if you’re only sleeping for about 4 hours each night, your sleep debt each night is 3 hours at the very least.

The concept of sleep debt is similar to any kind of debt. If left unchecked, the debt and its interest compound, and soon, it becomes insurmountable. 

If you’re sleeping too much, your body may be finally paying its debt and trying to make up for the lost hours of sleep.

2. Extreme tiredness

Extreme tiredness from chronic pain, bruxism, jet lag, and certain medications can cause you to oversleep.

Studies show that when we’re sleep-deprived, critical functions of the brain and body functions are all affected.

“What we know is that, if after you’ve tried to learn a task, and you sleep-deprived individuals, the ability to learn that task is smashed,” says Russell Foster, an expert in the sleep cycles of the brain. 

When we are awake for long periods, there’s pressure from our body’s internal clock to get some sleep. 

And when we don’t get enough sleep or still stay awake, our body tends to get into a self-preservation mode. 

We become less alert, less able to focus and groggy. Tiredness is a reason for sleeping too much.

3. Recovery from illness

Sleeping too much may be a sign that your body is fighting off something.

The body has its systems for keep ups healthy. One of them is sleep. 

When there’s an attack on the body, the body can get into a self-repair mode.

The body uses the food we eat and other systems to fend of aliens like viruses, unhelpful bacteria, and other diseases.

One of the proven ways the body deals with illness is sleep. Sleeping too much can be a sign that your body is fighting off something.

Often, all you need is to sleep some more and rest and let the body do its job.

4. Melatonin overdose

One of the natural hormones that control our sleep-wake cycles is melatonin. It’s produced by a small gland in the brain called, pineal gland. 

Everyday food provides us with melatonin. But sometimes, that’s not enough. 

If you have chronic sleep problems, the supplement form of melatonin (the one you get at the drugstore) can be helpful.

One of the effects of melatonin is that it increases the feeling of sleepiness. It could be one of the reasons why you are sleeping too much.

If you take too much melatonin, you continue to feel sleepy during th day causing you to sleep too much.

It overcompensates for your sleep inadequacy.

You can consider using the timed-release melatonin in prescribed doses to help you sleep well, but not get into the cycle of sleeping too much.

Takeaway

Getting enough sleep is vital for our survival as humans. We need to sleep to recuperate and improve our body functions.

But like most things in life, too much of it is not a good sign. It’s a possible signal that something in our bodies is off.

From extreme tiredness to illness, these reasons we’ve discussed can be why you are sleeping too much.