Is too much sleep even possible? We investigate
The ‘right’ amount of sleep is a contentious topic. Because everyone has their own right amount. For example - young children need as much as nine to twelve hours of sleep a night, and teens require about eight to ten hours. It’s all relative. So what's a good balance? Too little and you'll be exhausted all day, knocking back one cuppa after the next. Too much, on the other hand, might also leave you in a sleepy haze.
The experts say you should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night - and that anything more than that is too much. But can ‘too much’ actually do you any harm. The science says yes. Studies have shown that people who sleep over eight hours every night might be at higher risk of dying from coronary heart diseases. Oh, and they might display symptoms of depression and anxiety, if the heart disease wasn't enough to worry about. If you are getting a large amount of shuteye and still not getting through the day very easily, that might be a sign of some underlying health issues, or perhaps even a sleep disorder (that's the opposite of insomnia).
You can gauge whether you’ve had enough sleep by figuring out how well you can get through your day. How easily can you do what is needed in your work and social life without feeling like you are completely exhausted and need a sleep STAT?
Perhaps keep a sleep diary to be able to track your sleep routines, or work out your daytime sleepiness with a measure like the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. If you’re still unclear on whether you might be sleeping too much (or needing more than eight to nine hours to function), see your doctor. If you do have the occasion lie-in to recoup from a busy life, not to worry. Enjoy and sweet dreams
Written by Nina Clark