Can you sleep too much? Your questions answered

caucasian male student sleeping in class

It’s important to know that there isn’t a perfect number for everyone when it comes to hours of sleep. Some people need as few as five hours, whereas others may need as many as ten hours a day. It’s also important to note that the amount of sleep needed changes as we age—teenagers, for example, need more than adults because their bodies are going through a lot more hormonal, growth-related changes. But it is possible to sleep too much? In this article I will discuss if it is possible and how you can tell if you do.

How much sleep is too much sleep?

According to AASM the recommended sleeping duration for an adult is 7-9 hours per night. However, every person is different and requires varying amounts of sleep depending on their activity level during the day. To determine if you sleep too much you need to watch for sudden changes in your sleep duration. If you usually sleep 7 hours and feel great during the day, but then starting to sleep 10 hours while feeling worse, it is a sign of oversleeping. Then you should visit your doctor for consultation.

There can of course also be temporary causes where extra sleep is needed. If you are sick or are faced with a family emergency, it is natural to experience some degree of excessive sleepiness. This typically lasts for a few days and is not considered an oversleep disease.

Another common cause of oversleeping is jetlag and the associated exhaustion. In this case, I would recommend you just relax and give your body time to re-adjust itself.

How do you know if you’re sleeping too much?


boy sleeping in class with an elbow propping the head

There are a few different ways to know if you’re sleeping too much. One of the most obvious is that when you wake up you feel like you haven’t gotten any sleep at all. You’ll also want to look for symptoms such as moodiness or difficulty concentrating. There are a couple other things that might indicate sleeping too much:

Sleep starts to interfere with your daily routine

If you start to feel like a tired zombie, your sleep may be interfering with things you used to enjoy. Maybe you start to feel groggy and your eyes start to droop during conversations or family time. Or you find yourself feeling tired at work and your job performance is suffering as a result of oversleeping, it might a sign of too much sleep.

You start getting nightmares and/or insomnia

If you’re starting to get nightmares or if you can’t sleep at all, this might be a sign of oversleeping. Nightmares may be caused by stress or anxiety you are experiencing in your daily life. If they become persistent or occur at times when you wouldn’t normally experience them, it could mean you’re sleeping too much and need to cut back.

Your energy levels plummet

Energy levels are often the first thing to go when someone is running on too little sleep. If you notice that mid-morning or noon rolls around and you feel like your energy has been sapped, this might be that you are oversleeping. On the other side of things, if you decide to expand your sleeping hours but never seem to have energy to get things done, you should go back to your normal sleeping cycle.

For the most part, if you’re feeling sleepy and are having problems getting out of bed in the morning or you find yourself frequently tired or irritable during the day, your sleep is probably too long. Things will start to get worse as time goes on. Overall, sleep is important but it should not be over-prioritized. Your health, stamina, productivity and overall mood can all suffer as a result of oversleeping. If you are feeling tired and over-tired, it’s time to make a change.

How do I fix oversleeping?


woman lying down on a pillow

As we can see from the discussion above, it is possible to sleep too much. Today, many people have sedentary lifestyles and are not getting adequate physical activity or stimulation during the day. This leads to a build-up of serotonin and other chemicals that make us feel very tired even when we should be full of energy. There are a number of things you can do to curb your need for sleep:

Exercising during the day

Exercising during the day will release those chemicals that make you sleep better and will remove the need for oversleeping. It also releases endorphins which help improve your mood and feelings of vitality.

Get outside more!

Being outside in daylight will help keep your circadian rhythms functioning properly which will ultimately help regulate your sleep cycle better.

Stick to a regular schedule for your sleep

You may find yourself wanting to go to bed early or trying to stay up later in the evening but if you give in to those urges, it will throw off your body’s natural clock. Sticking to a regular schedule will help regulate how sleepy or alert you feel throughout the day.

Keep a sleep diary

It is recommended to keep a sleep diary over the course of a week to determine if your sleeping habits are concerning. This will help you track how many hours you’re actually sleeping, how much or little sleep you need each night, and whether or not there are any factors that could be affecting your quality of sleep. After reviewing your diary, it may be necessary to visit a sleep specialist. He or she can help you determine if your sleeping habits are concerning enough to warrant further investigation.

If these things don’t work and you find yourself feeling like you haven’t slept in days you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. You should consult with your doctor for more information and to discuss the severity of the issue.


Ultimately, there is no perfect number for everyone when it comes to hours of sleep. It differs from person to person based on a variety of factors. But if you find yourself feeling like a zombie every day, and even your sleep schedule is off balance, it might not be normal anymore and could be a sign of a disorder.

What is your opinion about this article? Do you think it’s possible to sleep too much, or not enough? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. And if you liked this post please share it on Twitter, Google+, Facebook or other social media channels. Thank you! 

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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