Too Much Sleep is Bad for You, Study Says

Too much of a good thing? We already know—often from experience—that too little sleep can be bad for for our health, but can too much sleep have the same effect? It seems so, according to new research.

Published in the journal Sleep Medicine, the research looked at the sleep habits of almost 55,000 people over 45. About 31 percent were “short sleepers,” getting six or fewer hours of sleep per night. Almost 65 percent were “optimal sleepers,” getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night. The remaining four percent were “long sleepers,” getting more than ten hours of sleep per night.

Both short sleep duration and long sleep duration were significantly associated with obesity, stroke, diabetes, and poor mental health.

So how do you become an optimal sleeper? Start by aiming for quality of sleep, not quantity, with these tips:

1. Turn off your gadgets one to two hours before bed. The bright lights late in the evening can confuse your brain into thinking it’s still day, leading to less deep and restorative sleep.

2. Cut down on alcohol and caffeine. A glass of wine can help you doze off, but it can also lead to a restless night with frequent wake-ups. Meanwhile, caffeine shortens the phases of sleep during which REM sleep and dreaming occur.

3. Ease into the morning. Resist the urge to snooze past your optimal number of hours with an alarm that gradually wakes you with light, or a phone app that wakes you up when you’re in your lightest sleep cycle.

Related:
8 Foods That Impact Sleep

171 comments

Dale O.

No, I don't oversleep very often but sleeping a lot is certainly a trait that the cat that owns me loves to indulge in, but that is purrfectly normal for felines.

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Donna Ferguson
Donna F3 years ago

ty

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

thanks. my kids exhaust me enough.. I sleep well :)

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federico bortoletto
federico b3 years ago

Grazie per la condivisione.

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Peggy Johnson
Peggy Johnson3 years ago

I would take issue with the interpretation of sleep length with medical conditions (eg., obesity, stroke, etc) Although there may be good data on some aspects of sleep, I really think you can argue that rather than causing medical conditions, abnormal sleep patterns may be, in many cases, secondary to the medical condition.

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Patt Tashjian
Patt Tashjian3 years ago

Never had a problem sleeping, but will pass this on as I'm sure some believe that you can cure a problem with MORE than usual sleep. Thank you.

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Val M.
Val M3 years ago

Thanks

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Thanks. I am not a good sleeper!

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heather g.
heather g3 years ago

I sleep for 10 hours fairly often. Then I look at the clock and say : "Wow, That was Goood!"

Of course I'm celebrating not having to work anymore. Happiness !

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Valerie Delisle
Valerie Delisle3 years ago

I have never experienced too much sleep. I'm the same as Natasha, 3 hours max. But I have to agree with Scott R , comments like TY, etc. are pretty lame .

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