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Is there such a thing as too much sleep


As sleep experts, we are often asked whether there is such a thing as too much sleep. Our customers find our mattresses so comfortable that they find themselves sleeping longer than they used to and want to know whether you can over sleep or if the more sleep you get the better. The short answer is that there is such a thing as too much sleep, that the ideal amount of sleep is between 6 and 7 hours per night, though this varies between people and even over time for a single individual.

As purveyors of fine mattresses we are sleep experts. Over the years we have been asked many questions about sleep, but this has to be one of the most common: Is there such a thing as too much sleep? Many of our customers have found that our memory foam mattresses are so comfortable that they are sleeping for longer than they ever have before and they want to know if they should start setting there alarms or just keep on sleeping.

The fact is that you can oversleep, many people will know what this feels like. Instead of feeling refreshed you will actually feel more tired and lethargic than you would if you had got up an hour or two earlier. Not only does oversleeping make you feel tired that day but there are also so concerning long term consequences. One study, one of the largest sleep studies ever conducted with nearly a million subjects, found that those who sleep for 8 hours or more a day had shorter life spans than those who sleep for 7 hours or less. They found the optimal sleep duration was between 6-7 hours a night.

However, truth is that it is far more complex than that. Not only does the amount of sleep you need change between individuals it changes over an individual’s life so that there is no single ‘right’ answer. While some people can live long and productive lives sleeping for around 4 hours a night others need more. Babies need loads of sleep, then as children they need less, but as teens they need more again, then as adults we need less while the elderly need more again.

We tell our customers that while on average they should be aiming for at least 6 and up to 8 they should really gauge it on how they feel when they wake and how long they would naturally sleep for. If you cannot function on less than 8 hours then you shouldn’t set your alarm for 6 because of anything you have read or heard, likewise if you only need 4 then you should go with what your body is telling you.

The length of sleep required varies between individuals and even for individuals over time. There are no right answers though you can oversleep. The key is to listen to what your body is telling you, you will have an innate understanding of how much you need, so go with that. 

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