Too Much Sleep?


| 10 Comments
Last week I was so tired. I ended up skipping most of my morning classes and would sleep in an extra 2-3 hours each day, and then drag myself out of bed to go to my afternoon classes. There was no excuse for me being so tired; I wasn't going to bed any later than usual, I wasn't getting more exercise than usual, etc. It seemed that no matter how much I slept, I still felt sluggish and like I could sleep the rest of the day away.

I started to think "am I oversleeping?" Is there such a thing as too much sleep? According to an article Dr. Michael J. Breus, "The Sleep Doctor," wrote for the Huffington Post, getting too much sleep IS a real problem, and could result in greater fatigue. In the article, the doctor describes how your body follows a regular pattern (circadian rhythm) and if you sleep "too much" that pattern could shift and cause jet-lag like symptoms.

The article has a few tips on how to avoid the consequences of over-sleeping. One thing the doctor suggests is forcing yourself to wake up even if you feel tired; expose yourself to sunlight, or workout, OR workout in bright light. Now that I think about it, last week, the only thing that made me less tired was the few days that I DID force myself out of bed and to class. Maybe this guy is onto something...

However, in this article on CNN's website, the reporter says that there is no medical evidence to recommend that people avoid over-sleeping and that the effects are not well understood.

What do you think? Do you feel more tired when you sleep in too often?

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10 Comments

Hi Alexandra! Very interesting article that can be related to my story, too! I used to be a real "miss sleepyhead". Last semester, after I finished with all my classes, I would came back to the dorm and slept for 3 hours (or more)! However, that did not make me feel ANY better when I got up. Even my parents warned me of having too much sleep could make me feel worst. I came to realize at the end...it's true. Sleeping too much makes me feel even worst than ever. My advice (based on my own experience) is try to sleep a little bit earlier than you normally do...and do not drink coffee! Because once you're addicted to it (like what I used to be) it was one of the worst feelings ever! So I stopped drinking coffee and tried to sleep earlier. But who knows, it might not be the same to everyone since we are all different! Hopefully your sleeping habit will be better as the semester goes by! :)

Its an interesting thought to think you could actually get too much sleep. From personal experience, I would think its not possible to get too much sleep because I find it hard to sleep when I don't need it. If I'm not tired or ready for bed, it is next to impossible to fall asleep. And vice versa, when I wake up in the morning (naturally), I feel that it happens because my body has fully recovered and rejuvenated itself. Although it is impossible to get out of bed, going back to sleep once I am awake just isn't going to happen. Starting your day on time only makes you feel awake because your body has started this so called regular pattern. If you were to sleep extra and then carry out the same acts, I feel as if your body would wake up and function just the same.

This was a very interesting post. I definitely think there is a thing called “too much sleep.” I’m glad I’m not the only one who suffered from this problem. When I used to sleep all the time it was because my time schedules were all messed up. I would sleep for hours and still feel tired. In fact, the more I slept the more tired I would feel. It’s a terrible disease. I agree that too much sleep is bad for your health because it doesn’t make you feel good. And plus too much of anything is bad for you!

I wrote a blog post about being tired all the time too, (https://blogs.psu.edu/mt4/mt-search.cgi?search=TATT&IncludeBlogs=78373&limit=20). There are many reasons as to why some people are tired all the time, including your reason of sleeping too much.
Also, there are other researches that say that women are more tired than men.

I really feel like the more I sleep, the better I feel... everyone talks about this "college lifestyle" of staying up until 2 AM but I am miserable if I get less than 8 hours of sleep. My roommate stays up so late doing homework but I know that if I'm sleep deprived, the next day will be brutal. But I do understand the feeling of sleeping too much: the two weeks I was home after summer session, I slept at least 12 hours every night and I was in a constant state of sleepiness. I think it's all about finding a happy medium.

Very interesting blog. As stated before, my mom always yelled at me for sleeping so much but I continued to do it anyway. I would always wake up and still be tired but I think it was because I slept too much. When i came to college I had trouble going to early classes and often was either late or missed them. I had a job this summer that required me to get up at 6am every morning and it was easier than I thought. It is definitely detrimental to over sleep and in fact makes you even more tired.

I find this very interesting and would love to show this to my mother. My mom always claims I'm always too out and about and never get enough sleep, I mean don't get me wrong there comes a time where tired means tired but if you're on the right sleep schedule, you're set. I do find it weird sometimes I'll sleep for over 10 hours and still be tired the next day but sleep for 6 and not be as tired.

My roommate always reminds me that the best naps are the 15-minute power naps that she takes after her classes. I always find it hard to believe that such a short amount of time could actually revitalize my system and help me finish out my day. As I read your blog, I began to reflect on my roommate's words of wisdom and just maybe she is correct. After finishing this blog post, I plan on trying out one of these so-called "power naps" to see its effect on my body and energy level.

I wish I had this problem, I can never sleep more than 6 hours on any given night night no matter how hard I try to sleep in. I've always heard that our bodies have a natural clock when it comes to sleep and eating patterns and things like that, but I don't know if that's the body getting used to normal routines or it just saying, "Ha! I'm not gonna let you sleep anymore so deal with it." Either way I'm wondering if there is anyway to turn it off so I can occasionally oversleep.

We discuss sleep in this class quite a bit, but this is an interesting take on the topic. I've always wondered what exactly makes up a "morning person". They just seem to be wired that way, waking up full of energy. Their alarm goes off and they spring out of bed. And as you have stated, there is the other side of the coin, the people that need to sleep all the time. Do they really need all that sleep or are they mentally weak? Personally, I think you can train yourself to be a "morning person". Those that sleep "too much" tend to be the lazier kind people, having less production than those that rise early, and often having priorities misaligned. But at the heart of the matter is the scientific question.... Do the people that sleep all the time really need that sleep?

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