How are you today? Are you feeling tired? Since you’re reading this post, you might be afraid that you are getting too much sleep. What do you think? Is it possible to get too much sleep?
Let’s ask the Experts
Before we ask pros, let’s get one thing straight. Too much of anything is bad, right? That’s why it’s “too much”. So of course too much sleep is bad, but let’s not get technical. A lot of people think they are doing the right thing by going to bed at a decent hour so they can get 9-10 hours of sleep. It should be healthy right? Wrong. Here’s why:
“…oversleeping has been linked to a host of medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and increased risk of death.”
Whoa! Slow down! So too much sleep could kill me? Apparently so.
In [a] research project, data regarding civil servants sleeping habits was collected between the years 1985-8 and 1992-3; the civil servants mortality rates were then checked in 2004. Other factors like age, BMI (body mass index), smoking habits, physical condition, etc. were all taken into consideration. The results showed that the civil servants who increased their nightly sleeping period from 7 hours per night to 8 hours per night or more, the overall mortality rate more than doubled! In this case, cardiovascular problems did not seem to be the main cause of death. The scientist are still trying to establish what lies behind these findings, and what is the true reason for these high mortality rates in well-rested people. In any case, based on these results, it seems clear that sleeping too much is not recommended.
So obviously, it is possible to get too much sleep and it’s not a very good thing when it happens for long periods of time. My main focus of this post is not to make you think that you will die from oversleeping, but that too much sleep is possible and it can actually make it hard to wake up in the morning.
Too Much Sleep Might be the Reason You Can’t Wake Up
Did you start the new year off with goals to get up at 6am and go running or to hit the gym? How are things working out for ya? Maybe you made the goal to get to bed by 10pm so that you could get 8 solid hours of sleep and get up at 6am ready to exercise.
I have found that what ends up happening is people meet their 10pm deadline to be in bed, but they snooze the alarm and don’t get up until 7 or 8. They end up getting 9 or ten hours of sleep instead of 8, which leads to the oversleeping trap. Soon, their bodies are used to getting 9 hours of sleep and getting any less than that is nearly impossible.
It’s simple, SLEEP LESS. Either go to bed later or get up earlier so that you are only getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep. You don’t want to deprive your body of sleep, but you certainly don’t want to sleep more than 8 hours each night. This includes the weekends! If you cheat on the weekends, your body will get confused. Never sleep more than 8 hours.
All the Things You Can Do With 1-2 Extra Hours Each Day
Can you imagine having a few extra hours each day all to yourself? Think of all the things you could accomplish! Peter Shankman wrote a blog post called Why You Need to Get Up Earlier (And How to Do It!). In it, he listed a few awesome reasons why getting up early is so awesome. I’ll summarize his list:
- Learn – read, watch the news, browse the web, etc.
- YOU Time – The start of the day is all about you.
- Watch the Sky – It’s humbling to sit out on your porch and watch the sky turn from dark to light. You have to do it to understand.
- Automatically Early – How can you be late when you wake up a few EXTRA hours early??
- Eat – When you wake up early you can make yourself a nice breakfast which is, as we all know, the most important meal of the day.
- Exercise – You know you’re not going to go to the gym after work, and now you don’t have to!
- Easier Commute – When you leave for work early, you beat the traffic. Easiest commute ever.
- Do Something You “Never Have Time For” – Answer emails, walk the dog, read a book, update your blog..
Aren’t those some killer reasons to get up earlier? If death isn’t a good enough reason for you to stop oversleeping, those reasons right there should make you more productive in the mornings.
You can change the world while everyone else is busy sleeping.