Sleeping too much is bad: truth or myth?

imagem de homem na cama com vontade de dormir muito

We know that sleep is the time when our body repairs and restores itself and, therefore, getting too little rest can lead to a series of health problems. 

While most of us need approximately eight hours of sleep per night to feel revitalized throughout the day, what is considered sufficient (or not) varies from person to person. 

It's understandable that sleeping less than necessary results in tiredness, but it may be surprising to discover that sleeping more than necessary doesn't always leave us feeling refreshed and full of energy. On the contrary! When we turn off the alarm clock several times more than usual and we sleep more than we should, we may even feel more tired and unmotivated throughout the day.

Most of the time, we hear about the effects of a few hours of sleep and how harmful the habit of sleeping little can be. But… what about sleeping a lot? Does it hurt?

Is sleeping too much bad?

The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person. However, according to most studies and experts, sleeping more than nine hours it is already considered excessive or prolonged for adults.

Regularly sleeping beyond the recommended hours can have some negative side effects. Although adequate, quality sleep is essential for health, too much sleep can lead to physical and mental problems. 

Some of the main common side effects of sleeping too much include:

  1. Increased inflammation and pain;
  2. Impaired fertility;
  3. Increased risk of obesity and diabetes;
  4. Increased risk of heart disease;
  5. Increased risk of stroke.

Negative effects on the brain

Sleeping too much can be harmful to the brain and bring some negative effects, which can result in a series of cognitive and emotional problems. 

Some studies point out that both sleep deprivation and excess sleep are associated with a greater risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, related to changes in brain structure (which include reductions in the volume of gray matter in certain areas of the brain). The exact mechanism is not yet fully understood, but sleep disorders may contribute to the development of these conditions.

Furthermore, sleeping too much can also increase the risk of depression and other mental health problems, as well as lead to irregular sleeping patterns, contributing to the development of sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. 

Therefore, although sleep is essential for brain health, it is important to maintain a healthy balance by ensuring an adequate amount of sleep to promote mental and cognitive well-being.

Sleeping a lot: causes

There are many reasons why we may feel the need to sleep too much. Unlike people who naturally sleep a lot, those who sleep more than they are used to may be compensating for a lost or poor-quality sleep

On the other hand, the body itself may also be showing signs of an undiagnosed health condition. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the signs!

In fact, there are a number of factors that may be responsible for the need to sleep a lot. Between them:

  1. Sleep disorders: Certain disorders - such as sleep apnea - can lead to sleep that is constantly interrupted (and, in turn, not restorative) resulting in a feeling of excessive drowsiness during the day and the need to sleep more hours;
  2. Lack of sleep quality: Compromised sleep quality can lead to a greater need for sleep to compensate for the lack of rest;
  3. Hormonal changes: Some medical conditions, such as thyroid complications or certain hormonal imbalances, can affect sleep patterns and lead to an increased need for sleep;
  4. Lifestyle: Certain habits and lifestyles, such as lack of regular physical activity, inadequate eating habits, chronic stress or the use of certain medications, can lead to increased drowsiness and the desire to sleep for longer hours;
  5. Ingestion of medications or substances: Certain types of medication can cause excessive and prolonged drowsiness. Additionally, alcohol or drug use can negatively affect sleep patterns and lead to an increased need for sleep.
  6. Underlying health problems: In some cases, sleeping too much can be caused by an underlying health condition, such as hypothyroidism, depression, neurological disorders or chronic illnesses, as these types of conditions can affect sleep balance.

Regardless of everything, it is important to realize that not only is less sleep harmful. Also excessive sleeping and the constant need to sleep a lot can be a symptom of several underlying medical conditions, some of which can be serious.

Sleeping a lot after a stroke

After an episode of CVA (Cerebral Vascular Accident), it is common to experience excessive drowsiness due to the impact this event had on the brain and the intense work that the body has to do to recover. 

Getting plenty of sleep during the initial phase of recovery is considered normal, and can even be recommended by doctors to assist in the healing process, as sleep can play an important role in the recovery and overall health of a person who has suffered a stroke. This is because it is during sleep that the body carries out cellular repair and brain restoration processes, which can help with neurological recovery after a stroke.

Many patients, after a stroke, experience episodes of fatigue (which can be physical, mental or emotional), and getting enough sleep can help combat this fatigue and provide the body with the rest it needs for recovery.

However, it is important that the patient's sleep pattern is closely monitored by Health professionals, as some sleep disorders may arise after a stroke - such as sleep apnea or insomnia - who may need specific treatment.

Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that excessive sleeping for long periods of time can not only be harmful, but also lead to a loss of physical conditioning and cognitive abilities. It is recommended that all medical instructions are followed and that a balance can be found between adequate rest and recovery. 

Each person is unique and may have different needs during the post-stroke recovery process.

“I sleep a lot and I’m always sleepy.” Why?

Do you feel like you usually sleep a lot and still wake up tired? Or, do you sleep a lot and still feel sleepy during the day? Calm down, you're not alone! 

There are several reasons that can help explain this “phenomenon”. 

The most common cause is known as circadian rhythm dysregulation, which occurs when our body's biological clock is interrupted for some reason. This clock is responsible for controlling our sleep and wake patterns, indicating when we should sleep and wake up. If, for some reason, you go to bed later than usual and disrupt your body's routine, your brain becomes disoriented, resulting in a feeling of confusion when you wake up.

Another factor that may explain why you are sleeping a lot and yet still sleepy could be the fact that you are waking up at the "wrong" time. If you wake up during the non-REM sleep phase - which is the deepest phase - it can also cause some mental and physical confusion upon awakening that will inevitably accompany you for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, if you have already considered all these possibilities and continue to wake up tired, even if you maintain a regular sleep routine, there may be a related health problem that is preventing you from having a restful sleep, resulting in drowsiness during the day. 

If you feel that your sleep is being frequently interrupted, you wake up very tired and/or you continue to feel sleepy during the day, it is essential to seek help. See an medical specialist so that you can receive the appropriate treatment.

Sleeping a lot: Does it make you lose weight or gain weight?

Generally speaking, getting a lot of sleep does not have a significant direct effect on weight gain or loss. Body weight is mainly influenced by diet, physical activity levels and genetic factors. However, there are some ways in which sleep can indirectly affect weight.

Metabolism: The quality and quantity of sleep can affect basal metabolism, which is the minimum amount of energy the body needs to function at rest. A slower metabolism due to lack of adequate sleep can lead to lower calorie burn at rest, which can make it harder to lose weight.

Appetite and food intake: Inadequate sleep can affect hormones that control appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin. Low levels of sleep can lead to an increase in ghrelin - which stimulates the appetite - and a decrease in leptin - which curbs the appetite - which can result in greater caloric intake and potential gain of weight.

Physical activity: People who don't get enough sleep may feel tired and have less energy, which can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle and increase of weight.

Therefore, although there is no direct link, the quality and quantity of sleep can play a role in regulating appetite, metabolism and eating behaviors. In turn, these factors can indirectly influence body weight, leading to weight gain or loss.

The ideal is to seek an adequate balance and sleep the recommended number of hours of sleep - 7 to 9 hours per night for adults - as well as maintain a balanced diet and regular physical activity, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The importance of seeking medical help 

imagem de consulta médica

When sleep becomes excessive and we start spending most of our time in bed, it could be a sign that something is not right!

If your concern is that you feel like you are sleeping too much, take a kind of “inventory” of your current circumstances:

  • Have you overcome any phase of greater stress?
  • Have your days been more tiring?
  • Are you going through some kind of situation? jet lag after a long trip?
  • Have you started taking any medication?

Evaluating these parameters, and if you see yourself in any of them, this could probably be the reason why your body feels the need to sleep more. And everything is fine... as long as your sleep returns to normal afterwards.

If you do not find yourself in any of these scenarios, and the need to sleep a lot has been part of your days, it is recommended that you consult your doctor. 

This way, you can discuss your symptoms, medical history, and any other specific concerns with a healthcare professional. Through a complete evaluation, your doctor may request additional tests - such as sleep polysomnography, for example - to identify the underlying cause of excessive sleeping and eventual tiredness upon waking. 

Based on the diagnosis, you may be recommended appropriate treatment, which may include lifestyle changes, specific therapies or medication, depending on the situation.



At Colmol, our priority is the satisfaction of those looking to improve their night's rest through effective and quality products. Our team of Sleep Specialists provides personalized advice on a daily basis, adapted to the needs of each client who comes to us. 

If you are looking for this specialized help, you can contact us directly at::

  • telephone the number (+351) 300 600 110
  • or Send us your questions to

We are always available to help you… and your sleep 🧡


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