What Are the Effects of Sleeping Too Much?

Dan Cavallari

The effects of sleeping too much can vary according to certain factors, and the definition of "too much" will vary according to one's age. A child, for example, is likely to sleep much longer than an adult; an adult should usually sleep between seven and nine hours per night, so any adult sleeping more than that is often labeled as sleeping too much. Some of the conditions that may result from oversleeping include depression, diabetes, lowered energy levels, heart disease, back problems, and even death. Some of these results of oversleeping may also be the cause of the oversleeping.

Depression can be both a cause and a result of oversleeping.
Depression can be both a cause and a result of oversleeping.

Connections between sleeping too much and socioeconomic status have been made through studies as well. People of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to oversleep because of undiagnosed illnesses or conditions that can lead to sleeping too much. They are less likely to seek treatment for these issues, which can in turn lead to more negative side effects of oversleeping. Depression, too, can be both a cause of oversleeping and a result of it. People who are depressed are more likely to succumb to too much sleep, and many studies have found that sleep deprivation can actually help alleviate depression to a certain degree.

It is generally normal for a child to sleep for longer periods than an adult.
It is generally normal for a child to sleep for longer periods than an adult.

Sleeping too much can also lead to back pain or exacerbate existing back pain. In the past, doctors would recommend bed rest for back problems, but now doctors recognize the need for more physical exercise to strengthen back muscles; weaker muscles are more likely to become tired quickly, and muscles tighten when they are tired. Strengthening the muscles prevents tightening, which can lead to muscle strains and tears, as well as other spinal issues. Oversleeping allows the muscles to weaken and tighten; this condition will be exacerbated if the person does not participate in a regular workout routine.

The likelihood of obesity is also much higher in people who sleep too much, as are conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and anxiety. Once again, these conditions can be a case or a result of sleeping too much, though in many cases, doctors do not understand the correlation between a too much sleep and the problems that trigger it or result from it. People who sleep too much, for example, are at higher risk of death than people who sleep an appropriate amount each night. The correlation is not understood, but studies support this information.

Oversleeping excessively may worsen or lead to back pain.
Oversleeping excessively may worsen or lead to back pain.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I'll almost always get up with a crick in my neck if I've been sleeping too much. I do know also that sleeping too much can be a sign of depression. It's easier for a person to sleep than to face the world. I understand that feeling. I've been there.

My back will also ache sometimes, which is an indicator I've been sleeping too much for whatever reason. I always try to get some exercise every day, which does help me get the right amount of sleep, but also helps my energy level, so I don't sleep too much.


When I sleep too much, I get a headache, and not much works to alleviate it except some aspirin and doing something like taking a walk. I'm most apt to sleep too much on the weekends, or if I've gone a few days without sleeping well. I overcompensate and instead of just getting rid of my sleep debt, I also end up with a headache from sleeping too much.

I actually don't sleep enough most of the time, which is supposed to be as bad as sleeping too much. It's hard to hit that happy medium sometimes, when you live a busy life and need to catch up on sleep in large blocks.

Post your comments
Forgot password?