Why Do I Sleep So Much?
When you have a long to-do list, getting hours of sleep every night might seem like wasted time. But those hours are vital, says Pete Bils, Vice President of Sleep Science and Research at Sleep Number. Scale back on sleep, and adults risk scaling back on their ability to function.
Question: How many hours a night should I sleep?
Answer: The rule of thumb is that for every two hours awake, you need an hour of sleep. Some people are genetically disposed to needing 9 to 10 hours to function at their best, while others can operate at their peak with 6 or so hours. But most people function best on 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night.
Q: How can I find out how much sleep I really need?
A: Take a sleep vacation. For a week or two, turn off your alarm clock, go to bed when you’re tired, and wake up naturally. You’ll see for yourself what your natural sleep patterns should be.
Q: Can sleeping too much be harmful?
A: A number of conditions can interfere with your quality of sleep. These include:
- Sleep apnea, which causes brief stops and starts in your breathing
- Restless leg syndrome, which causes an urge to move your legs when resting
- Bruxism, or grinding or clenching your teeth
Without this restorative sleep, your brain and body systems can’t be repaired, heal, and grow, so if you wake up feeling like you need more sleep, this could be why. There are other conditions that actually cause you to sleep more, such as:
- Narcolepsy, which interferes with the body’s sleep-wake cycles
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome, in which your biological clock keeps you up late, so that it’s hard to wake in the morning
- Idiopathic hypersomnia, which causes excessive sleepiness for reasons that can’t be identified
If you regularly sleep more than 9 hours a night, check with your doctor to see if there might be an underlying medical reason.
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.