Think about it, I’m sure we all know one or two people, maybe a sibling or a friend, who sleeps the day away, right? Or, if we’re being honest, maybe it’s you! This is someone who sleeps until noon and stays up until 2 a.m.. Sounds like your typical college student cramming for tests, which is common! But is this harmful to our bodies? Is there such a thing as too much sleep? 

The healthy amount of sleep

To start, it’s important to understand how many hours of sleep is a healthy amount. This number varies person to person, with many factors to consider. The average adult should be sleeping an average of 7 to 9 hours a night. Talk to your doctor to find out how many hours you should be getting personally. Among many other benefits, these 7 to 9 hours help your appetite, your immune system, and your memory. Without the standard 7 to 9 hours, you may encounter some health issues. Oppositely, too much sleep leads to the same outcome.

The outcome of too much sleep

It’s important to note that children and teens who sleep in on the weekends are not going to find themselves with the same outcome as adults who sleep 10-12 hours a day. Excess sleep in moderation is perfectly healthy, that’s what weekends are for, aren’t they? The problems arise when adults are sleeping too much, too often. 

Health issues such as an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease are some common results of excess sleep. This does not mean that one night of 9 hours of sleep is going to result in a quick diagnosis of heart disease. It means that over time, a recurring 9 or more hours per night is going to affect your body negatively. 

So yes, too much sleep can be harmful to your body. If you are a person who tends to have nights of not enough sleep, your body will naturally try to recover those hours by sleeping later the next day. Too much of this can become a habit, which then leads to overall health issues. 

How do I prevent too much sleep?

As with any healthy lifestyle, make healthy habits! Make it a habit to only get 7-9 hours a night. No matter what time you go to bed, make sure you get the healthy amount of sleep for your body. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, this will help you fall asleep and stay asleep if that’s something you’re struggling with. And as always, talk to your doctor about what your options are. You may be surprised with how simple the solution is! 

Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about your risk for sleep apnea and what treatment options are available to ensure a healthy night’s sleep!