In a world where so many of us are struggling to get enough sleep, the issue of sleeping too much might seem like a luxury problem.
It’s actually not. Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be connected to a mental health issue such as depression. It’s often a signal that a person is experiencing poor sleep quality, and it can be a sign of a clinical sleep disorder, including obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.
Sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity, and cognitive issues including difficulty with memory. Similar to people who sleep too little, people who sleep too much have higher overall mortality risks.
We talk a lot about insufficient sleep, and the risks that a lack of sleep poses for physical health, mood, relationships, and performance. But oversleeping isn’t something to ignore.
Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping, and excessive sleepiness during the day. Like its counterpart insomnia, hypersomnia has several core symptoms:
- Sleeping for extended hours at night (typically well beyond the 7-8-hour general norm)
- Difficulty waking up in the morning (including sleeping through an alarm)
- Trouble rising from bed and starting the day
- Grogginess on and off or