May 19, 2024

Is Oversleeping Bad For Us?

Lie-ins are literally dreamy aren’t they? But it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. According to the experts, oversleeping on a regular basis is a bad game-plan. Rather than waking up feeling refreshed, it can lead to grogginess, grouchiness and it can even be a sign of more serious underlying health issues.

We’re 100% here for soaking up those extra zzzs every now and then, cocooned in your duvet (yum), but we asked the experts, how much sleep is too much sleep?

And what can oversleeping mean for our health? Here’s what they had to say

What is the average amount of sleep most adults need per night?

“The average amount of sleep adults need per night to function normally is 7 hours, however getting 8 hours is advised. It’s also been noted that women need around 20 minutes more sleep per night than men,” explains Martin Seeley, Sleep Expert and CEO of Mattressnextday.

Is there such a thing as too much sleep?

“Yes, there is. Too much sleep on a regular basis can be fairly detrimental and can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke,” says Martin. “Getting more than 9 hours per night continuously could cause concern. However, getting the odd long night’s sleep of over 10 hours when your body needs it is fine, you just shouldn’t do it too often. You should speak to your GP if you constantly feel sleepy or tired,” he adds.

How much sleep is too much?

“More than 9 hours per night on a regular basis is considered too much,” says Martin.

Can age affect how much sleep you need?

“At each stage of our lives we may have different sleep habits and different reasons for needing a certain amount of sleep,” explains Dr Lindsay Browning, psychologist, neurologist and sleep expert at And So To Bed.

Sleep in your twenties

“In your early 20s it is likely that you will need less sleep than teenagers, but a little more sleep than older adults. This is in part because the brain is still developing up to approximately age 25. It is recommended that most young adults in their 20s should be getting a minimum of 7-9 hours of good sleep,” says Dr Lindsay. “Teenagers and those in their early twenties may find that their circadian rhythm (their internal 24 hour clock) is skewed towards naturally wanting to go to bed and wake up later. This can lead to problems being able to wake up in time for work, as their body wants to sleep for longer. It can also make it more difficult to fall asleep early enough to get sufficient sleep, resulting in them getting less sleep overall than needed,” she says.

“In your twenties, you may be staying out late drinking and socialising and then sleeping in at the weekend, but still trying to get up early for work on a Monday. This can lead to a thing called ‘social jetlag’. Social jetlag is where we tend to have very different weekend, vs weekday, bedtimes and wake times. As our circadian rhythm doesn’t cope well with change, this can lead to problems falling and staying asleep at different times. Also, when we drink alcohol this affects our sleep quality with frequent wakings, making the sleep we do get less refreshing,” Dr Linsday says.

“Research has shown however that many people in this age group get closer to six hours of sleep each night, and it’s common for busy young adults with big goals to get even less. The early ’20s stage of life is an exciting but also highly stressful time. It’s important that whilst you enjoy your active social lives in your early 20s, you also take time to slow down and think about what the lack of sleep might be doing to your health,” says Dr Lindsay.

Sleep in your thirties

“For people in their 30s, 7-9 hours per night is the recommended amount of sleep. However, by the time you hit your 30s, your brain is fully developed and you may be less physically active than you were in your 20s, meaning you may require a little less sleep than you did prior. Generally, the more physically active you are the more sleep you might need,” says Dr Lindsay.

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