Is it possible to sleep too much?

Kann man zu viel schlafen?

We spend about a third of our lives asleep. For a healthy everyday life, the quality of sleep and the length of sleep at night are crucial. It is widely known that too little sleep has a negative impact on our health and performance. But what happens when we regularly sleep too much? Find out here whether we can really sleep too much and what the effects of a high sleep duration are.

Table of Contents

      1. The importance of sleep duration
      2. Can we sleep too much?
      3. Consequences of too much sleep
      4. The right amount of sleep is crucial
      5. Conclusion

      The importance of sleep duration

      Numerous repair and recovery processes take place during sleep. The immune system runs at full speed, we process information and gather new energy for the next day. A good quality of sleep and the right amount of sleep are therefore essential for us to be able to cope with our everyday lives in a healthy and productive way. How much sleep we really need is individual and depends on various factors. Experts generally recommend between 7 - 8 hours of sleep. At night we go through several sleep cycles, which in turn consist of different sleep phases. We explain this in more detail in this article. In order for us to be properly awake in the morning and during the day, it also depends on when we wake up. We are usually tired when we wake up in the wrong sleep phases.

      Every second German suffers from sleep problems, but these are usually related to the fact that difficulties falling asleep or sleeping through the night reduce the duration of sleep and the body cannot recover sufficiently. It is therefore well known that too little sleep has numerous negative consequences for our health and well-being. However, what about when we sleep too much?

      Can we sleep too much?

      What many people don't know: Just like too little sleep, "oversleeping" and exceeding the optimal amount of sleep is not good for the human body. If we sleep longer than our organism actually needs for regeneration, we upset the natural sleep-wake rhythm and disrupt important biological processes, including metabolism and hormone regulation. For this reason, regular over-sleeping can also be harmful in the long term. What are the consequences of sleeping too much?

      Consequences of too much sleep

      Pronounced tiredness during the day

      The more we sleep beyond our own needs, the less we reach the restorative deep sleep phases. In addition, our biorhythm ensures the release of the stress hormone cortisol towards the morning, which makes us awake. The brightness of the day and the rising body temperature then also contribute to the fact that sleep is less restful and we suffer from sluggishness, tiredness or headaches during the day, despite long periods of sleep.

      Müdigkeit am Tag

      Health risks

      Various studies show: Not only too little sleep, but also too much sleep can be detrimental to our health. More than 8 hours of sleep per night increases the risk of Parkinson's disease, various heart diseases or diabetes and leads to a higher probability of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Further, too much sleep also promotes the development of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels and obesity.

      Mental health also suffers in the long term from too much sleep. For example, sleep researchers have shown that people who regularly sleep more than nine hours are more prone to depressive illnesses. According to the study, the probability of developing depression is 49%, which is 20% higher than those who sleep between seven and nine hours.

      Reduction in brain and memory performance

      During sleep we process, sort and store the information and impressions of the day. The quality of sleep is crucial for our memory performance at night and during the day. As already mentioned, a permanently high sleep volume can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep and disturb the important processing procedures. Particularly for older people, the risk of mental limitations increases, such as increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory, which are preliminary stages of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

      The right amount of sleep is decisive

      The right amount of sleep determines our well-being and health in many respects and has numerous effects on how we go about our daily lives. The fact that too much sleep can also have negative effects in the long term should not be ignored. It is therefore worthwhile to pay attention to your own sleep needs and to adjust your sleep rhythm to the amount of sleep you need.

      Conclusion

      • Regular excess sleep, like persistent sleep deprivation, has numerous negative consequences for our health and performance.
      • Too much sleep reduces sleep quality and can lead to fatigue, sluggishness or headaches during the day.
      • Too much sleep is detrimental to both physical and mental health. Among other things, it increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and depression.
      • Important memory processes can be disturbed by a permanently high sleep volume and promote an increasing forgetfulness or reduced memory capacity.

      Best regards and see you soon!