The adage that too much of anything can be bad holds true for sleep. While we often treat and encounter patients suffering from excessive sleeplessness, on the other end of the continuum are individuals dealing with excessive sleeping. We’re commonly asked, “Why am I sleeping so much?” or, “How many hours of sleep is too much?” We’ve put together this short guide addressing how much sleep you should be getting, and how to know if the amount of time you spend sleeping isn’t normal.
How Many Hours of Sleep is Too Much?
Generally, most people need seven to eight hours of sleep to feel rested, but no two individuals have the same biological needs for sleep. How much sleep an individual needs can depend on the following factors:
- Age: Children and older adults generally need more sleep.
- Genetics: Genes play a direct role in our circadian rhythms and how much sleep we need to feel rested. Some people are genetically predisposed to need less sleep. A rare mutation in the DEC2 gene can alter hormone levels and leave some individuals with the ability to thrive on a few hours of sleep. If all the members of your family thrive on 9 hours of sleep, for example, you may be genetically predisposed to need this amount of sleep.
- Activity Level: The more active you are, the more sleep you’ll need for your body to replenish and recover itself.
- Overall Health: Certain illnesses or chronic conditions can make it necessary for your body to rest more as the immune system fights off viruses or infections.
- Emotional Well-being or Life Changes: Being under additional emotional stress, or enduring difficult life changes such as divorce or the death of a loved one can affect sleeping patterns.
Symptoms of Too Much Sleep
While everyone responds differently, certain symptoms can be a clue that you may be getting too much sleep. Below are some side effects of sleeping too much that are typically experienced by excessive sleepers:
- Feeling Sluggish All Day
- Pain and Inflammation
- Impacted Memory
- Awake Feeling Tired
Diagnosis and Treatment for Sleeping Too Much
There can be many underlying causes of excessive sleep. If you are experiencing the effects of too much sleep, see your physician to rule out a potential sleep disorder or health condition. At the Jacksonville Sleep Center, we specialize in helping patients across Northeast Florida get the great sleep they need! Whether you are suffering from excessive sleep or another sleep disorder, we offer the latest options for sleep disorder diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. If you suspect you are sleeping too much, our physicians and team of specialists would love to help. Contact us today to learn more and set up an appointment!