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Why Do I sleep Too Much?


Most adults only require about seven to eight hours of sleep per night in order to remain healthy, alert and function well in their day to day lives. I am therefore concerned that I need to have anything from twelve to fifteen hours sleep per night.This prompted me to look into the problem further, and try to formulate a list of reasons why an individual human might need so much more sleep than another.

My initial online research was actually quite disappointing, as most of the search engine results online seemed to concentrate on why we need the 7 to 8 hours sleep most of us routinely have. The subject of people who need significantly more hours of sleep in order to cope with their daily routines was not particularly well covered at all in comparison. For this reason I have taken the time to look into this in more detail, and have compiled a list of reasons why certain people need a far larger volume of sleep than others do. I hope this might help to boost the available information on the Internet so that people with the same problem as I have will have less trouble coming up with an answer to the question "Why do I sleep too much? "


A need for excessive hours of sleep is a known symptom of depression. It is not abnormal for a person who suffers from depression to need many more hours of sleep than the average person. The frustrating thing about this is that not many people around the depressed person will understand this, and all too often the reaction to hearing the amount of hours the depressed person is sleeping is one of: 'get a job ' or 'that is just laziness ' etc. What they don't realise is that the sleep of a depressed individual is not usually good quality sleep, and much of it is full of dreams, such as we have in R.E.M sleep before we sink into a more natural a deep sleep. Even when a depressed person does manage to fall asleep, if they are awoken again for any reason, e.g. the phone rings, a car backfires outside etc, then it usually results in their mind immediately going into action again, in other words, they can't stop thinking . This can take a couple of hours to subside, so by the time they do return to sleep they have already lost two or more hours of their night's sleep, which can be exhausting if they have work the following morning, or indeed they have children they need to be awake to care for.


Excessive alcohol can make us feel sleepy, and even makes us fall asleep, but what is important is the actual quality of sleep we get, and alcohol induced sleep is not good quality sleep. Remember how tired you felt last time you came around from a general anaesthetic? Well this is a similar principle. The sleep is artificial, not restful, and the only way to recover your feeling of being truly alert and awake is to have a good sleep without the influence of alcohol within your system. You will be amazed how bright you feel after a day or two of going to bed for a seven or eight hour sleep without any alcohol in your system.


Many drugs such as Cannabis might send us off to sleep, but much like alcohol the sleep quality isn't great. Most regular Cannabis users find that they sleep a lot, but as times goes on they spend more and more time sleeping, and less and less awake. The brain becomes 'dulled' and often a regular user can be recognised by their slowed speech and inability to to think quickly when required (trust me, I speak from my own previous experiences).

Once you stop smoking Cannabis/Marijuana you may struggle to get to sleep at first in much the same way as you would after many years of drinking alcohol prior to sleep. After a few days you will be able to sleep without the drug, and you will quickly notice you wake up feeling more revitalised and refreshed. Within weeks you will notice that your need for extensive hours of sleep has also diminished.

After over 5 years without any Cannabis/Marijuana I have to say that personally I do feel better as a result and would not choose to return to this as a regular habit.

Early Pregnancy

In the first three months of pregnancy the female body is undergoing huge changes such as a massive increase in Progesterone. This usually results in extreme tiredness, often to what sometimes seems like a ridiculous degree, e.g. walking to the fridge from the couch seems too much to undertake.

If you suspect there is any slight chance you could be pregnant, and you are suddenly more tired than you can ever recall being for no apparent reason, then you might want to consider taking a pregnancy test to be on the safe side.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnoea is a condition where the affected person either ceases breathing for relatively long periods of time, or only breathes very lightly during their sleeping hours. When their breathing resumes a normal pattern they are usually disturbed by the jolt this creates, (even if not awoken completely). The problem is common in heavy snorers and people who wake up short of breath. A trip to a specialist clinic overnight can diagnose this condition and it is treatable by the wearing of special masks during any time when the individual is likely to fall asleep.

Sleep Environment

The environment in which you sleep can make a very big difference to the quality of sleep you experience. It is important to programme yourself to associate the bedroom with being a place you go to rest or make love. The moment you begin to work on computers, watch television, read books, listen to music etc in the bedroom, you are teaching your subconscious mind that the bedroom is a place where your brain is stimulated. For this reason experts recommend you avoid any kind of brain stimulating activities in the bedroom, especially before you are going to sleep. Finish off these activities in your living room prior to heading off to bed, then your mind will immediately think "sleep time" when you climb into your bed.


Drinking caffeine rich drinks before bed is another bad idea if you want a good nights sleep. Drinks such as coffee, tea, even cola, all contain enough caffeine to interfere with your sleep pattern. If you want to have a drink before bed try to stick to hot milky drinks or plain water instead. By drinking the warm milky drinks, or even plain water as opposed to caffeine rich drinks, you will notice your sleep quality will improve, resulting in your body requiring less sleep.


Having a cigarette before you sleep might make you think you are more relaxed, but actually it has the complete opposite effect on your body. Your heart rate increases and your blood pressure rises after you smoke. This will mean you find it harder to sleep and therefore lose quality sleep time as a result. Over time you will need more sleep to compensate for the damage the cigarettes have done to your arteries, lungs etc. You will notice you need less sleep within weeks of stopping smoking.


If you eat too close to going to bed you will find your quality of sleep suffers as a result, in fact your health will too. Eating food a couple of hours prior to going to sleep will cause you sleep pattern problems. After you finally fall asleep your body will still be digesting the food you have consumed, which means your brain cannot switch off properly. Additionally certain hard to digest foods can cause you to dream more, which is also disturbing, and means again you are stuck too long in R.E.M sleep, (as opposed to drifting into a deeper natural sleep).

Health Problems.... Diabetes etc

There are many health problems can cause either a reduced ability to sleep or a greater need for sleep depending on the individual. Some examples of this are obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. If you are not aware you suffer from any of these already, then take the time to visit your Doctor and ask him to run tests to see if you might have a problem.


Although many of the problems I have listed above are simply reasons why an individual does not get good quality sleep, what you need to remember is that 7 or 8 hours quality sleep is better than 12 or 15 hours poor quality sleep. In other words, if you sort out the basic problems and improve your sleep quality, you won't need to sleep so much because your sleep will be more restful.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 04, 2019:

Thank you Hacicu:)

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Hacicu Bogdan from Cluj-Napoca, Romania on April 04, 2019:

Really appreciate the fact that you spoke from your experiences and also took the time to reasearch a topic that isn't covered a lot.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 17, 2014:

Thanks brakel2, I did try Vit D tablets, but it made no difference so I think I just have a weird body clock.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 16, 2014:

Hi Misty. I am sorry about your issue but can relate. Sometimes I am so tired but the winter cold and wind have tired me out. Do you think you could have vitamin D deficiency? I'm glad you wrote the article to help yourself and others. Great research and writing. Pinning. . Blessings. Audrey

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 16, 2014:

Maybe it is all just a side effect of your body going through the healing process Sean. In any case I hope you are back to normal soon.

sean on April 16, 2014:

I am male 50 years old and a year after thyroid surgery, my Dr just took half of it out,

In past week or two I sleep three or four times a day after I had 7 hours of night sleep.

After surgery I had serious memory problem.

this morning I had to look at my web site to remember what my own phone number is, I could watch any movie over and over because I can not remember them, well I know that i have seen it but can not guess the next scene of the movie or the endings.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 11, 2013:

Not to worry you too much I hope alexius, but have you taken a pregnancy test? The reason I ask is that if you did have sex and you were unlucky enough to get pregnant, one of the early signs of pregnancy is feeling completely exhausted and sleepy much of the time. If this guy won't tell you what you did or didn't do that night it does sound a little bit like something probably did happen, and as he knows it is illegal to have sex with a minor he is afraid to admit it to you. In your shoes I would immediately buy a pregnancy test and check to see if you are or not. This is vital as if you are pregnant then decisions need to be made such as whether you are going to allow the pregnancy to continue, and if you are then you need to be taking things like Folic Acid tablets as soon as possible and you need to see your doctor. Right now you need to seriously think about telling someone such as a parent or your doctor, because if you did sleep with this boy then he is guilty of rape and needs to be reported to the Police.

alexius on April 11, 2013:

ive been sleeping a lot lately .. and ive got school . but i just end up skipping . not that long ago i was sleeping fine . but then i went to a party and got drunk and well ... i think i couldve had sex with someone . but im not even sure . cause the guy that was with me wont tell me anything that happened that night . and im 14 .. so i dont know how to handle this . at all ...

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 21, 2012:

Thanks Annamie Cureteyz, glad this was helpful to you :)

Annamie Cureteyz on December 21, 2012:

I learned a lot of things and sleep issues of depression in this blog. Very well said, I will surely keep coming here for some new posts of yours. Keep posting!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 22, 2012:

I am really glad to be of help Chris, and I sincerely hope this will lead to you solving your sleep issues so you can get a good quality sleep and therefore need less of it :)

Chris on October 22, 2012:

Thanks for this. It is not often you come across a useful and informative article online now days. Now I just need so sort all these problems with my sleep out. I am doing about 5 of the things off the list :(.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 29, 2012:

Thanks deepak2u, glad you liked it :)

Govind Deepak Kumar from Telangana,INDIA on August 29, 2012:

Best article that i have read

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 30, 2012:

15 hours is not good though amithak50, for a start there is little day left to enjoy at the end of it and things that need to get done don't.

amithak50 from India on March 30, 2012:

15 hrs of sleep ..That is awesome your are lucky :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 06, 2012:

Hi Akon, that comment was great, but I can't allow it because it contained a spam link at the end of it. Feel free to post it again without the link and I will allow it :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 04, 2012:

Hi Laurel, I am guessing some of us just naturally need more sleep than others, and there is no getting away from it. The only possible help is to drink those caffeine energy drinks like 'Red Bull' and possibly take lots of natural vitamins and supplements in the hope it will keep us functioning. I know I can barely drag myself out of bed at all unless I have about 9 -10 hours sleep lately.

laurel on March 04, 2012:

I simply can not function if I don't get 8 hours of sleep. It's not just that I am tired. I feel like I've been hit with a hammer all over my body and can barely think. I've been looking online for what the cause of this might be, but I can't find anything.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 22, 2012:

I know you don't like Doctors, but even a simple blood test could tell you if your hormones are out of whack, and some tablets could solve the problem and appease the Hubby.

A sleep expert can ask you relevant questions about your diet, lifestyle, habits, mattress, etc etc and suggest things that could be causing or could resolve the problem. Some of them even go so far as to have you 'sleep' in their clinics overnight with sensors attached to you that monitor the brain activity etc, and they film you sleeping so they can see how you move around in the bed at night. I have seen documentaries on this and it really is very interesting.

An alarm clock might wake you up, but if you are left feeling shattered and overtired, it has not solved the problem for you. Ideally you want to have less sleep and wake up feeling refreshed after 8 hours of it.

I hope you can find a solution :)

Angela Biggs from United Kingdom on January 22, 2012:

Don't know about that. Sleep experts?? auggh. No doctors, I have never been to one. But I am trying myself at alarm clocks. Working on my diet too. My husband gets irritated sometimes :(

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 20, 2012:

That sounds awful Angela, are you sure it couldn't be your diet or a hormonal problem etc. You can consult sleep experts about this problem.

Angela Biggs from United Kingdom on January 20, 2012:

I face the same problem. Neither do I have any bad habit nor do I suffer any stress problem. I sleep for about 9 hours but I don't feel fresh When I wake up. And it's really terrible to get out of bed. And after few hours by head starts falling down again. :(

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2012:

Thanks editorsupremo, I am glad the Doctor found out the cause so you could take appropriate action :)

editorsupremo from London, England on January 10, 2012:

Great hub. I was sleeping 10 to 12 hours a day and like you could only find reasons why 7 to 8 hours sleep was the optimum. Fortunately I had a good doctor and he carried out a few tests. That's when I discovered I was a diabetic. Now I sleep 8 to 10 hours a day. It's coming down slowly!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 01, 2012:

I know the feeling Marian, I guess drinking energy drinks like Red Bull are your best option right now.

Marian on January 01, 2012:

Anything less than ten leaves me groggy. It really sucks, as I have a long day. I leave at 7 AM and get home around 4:30 PM, then I have homework.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 01, 2012:

You are very welcome cbpoet, I still love sleeping more than most pastimes, apart from a good glass of wine that is ;)

cbpoet from Las Vegas, Nevada on January 01, 2012:

mistyhorizon2003, Thanks for debunking some of the sleep myths. Sleeping is one of my favorite pastimes beside Coffee

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 30, 2011:

Hi Steve, thanks for the interesting feedback. It makes me a bit better to hear that sleeping as much as you feel you require is good for you, as some articles I read indicated a higher mortality rate in people who sleep 'too much' which was a bit worrying.

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on January 30, 2011:

Cindy, I found this a very interesting hub and I sleep very well apart from when Tiggy wakes me up! lol I have recently been researching a lot of American alternative health advocates and Paul Nison who cured himself of being very ill by following a raw food diet says that sleep is very very important and that most people do not get enough. He says that if you wake up feeling you haven't had enough sleep you haven't had enough sleep. Several of the people I have been listening to including 92-year-old Dr Stanley Bass and Paul Nison - I have hubs on them both - say that going to sleep on a full stomach is not wise because it gives the body work to do while the body should be doing other work of healing itself. I have stopped eating late at night.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 24, 2011:

Thanks Jack, I am flattered by your comment and really pleased you found this hub so interesting. Sleep well ;)

Jack Salathe from Seattle, WA on January 24, 2011:

A very interesting hub. You are a good writer. It makes me want to examine my sleep pattern to better understand if I need to seek out some advice. Thanks!

kathryn1000 from London on January 24, 2011:


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 24, 2011:

Any time Kathryn, and you are right, a few words can say an awful lot. :) Hope to see you around on more of my hubs.

kathryn1000 from London on January 24, 2011:

Thank you for letting me know.sometimes a few words can help a great deal.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 24, 2011:

Thank you so much Kathryn, it is feedback like yours that makes writing so worthwhile and enjoyable to me, plus it is relaxing and therapeutic.

"Keep on keeping on" seems crop up a lot on the Internet, but I did find it quoted from the Bible as follows if that helps:

In Galatians 6:9 the apostle Paul simply encourages us to keep on keeping on!

kathryn1000 from London on January 24, 2011:

Well,whatever you do, I am very impressed with your eloquenc fluency,and intelligence.All we can do is keep on keeping on.....Who said that?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 24, 2011:

I would love to Kathryn, but so far I have not found a way to do this other than writing here on Hubpages. If I could make a realistic living simply writing such stuff, then I would be at least able to work from home and would enjoy what I did. However, I would quickly run out of knowledge based on my own experiences (most of which I have written about already), and no-one is offering me writing work I can do from home. Any suggestions welcomed, and thanks for your thoughts and feedback :)

kathryn1000 from London on January 24, 2011:

I see from reading your hubs you are very intelligent,eloquent,literate and a very fluent and clear writer.I am not sure how this relates to your problems but maybe you need to find something to use these talents.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 16, 2011:

Hi Tatjana, Thanks for the very detailed feedback in which you talk so much good sense as usual. I must admit I find it very frustrating when people judge me over having so much sleep. I am not being lazy, I simply feel totally exhausted all the time. This is particularly bad in the Winter as you say, and clearly our cats have got it all well worked out, as I see far more of them asleep in our home during the Winter than I do in the Summer.

Thanks for dropping in. Great to 'see' you here as always.

Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on January 16, 2011:

I like to sleep and whenever I have opportunity, I use it. After any intensive and overactive period brain needs a lot of rest, especially during the winter. But my sleep is mainly of good quality, and I always feel better and refreshed afterwards... and look younger.

So many people are judgemental when the others need more rest then is "appropriate", or when they need to sleep when others are awake, these judgments are what make me "angry", so I make sure that very few people know when and why I sleep. E.g. 2 years ago I had long period when I slept every second night (I was very busy), and I did not have any problem with that. But, after this period was over, my need for sleep very much increased... This winter I am allowing myself to sleep as much as I need, and this is on some days - very, very long (you would call it endless, LOL) - and I simply enjoy it without feeling guilty. My boyfriend does the same (in his own room) so when we meet awake, the both of us are in good mood, nobody is tired or stressed because of lack of sleep.

When we will be engaged into more interesting activities then we are at this very moment, we will naturally sleep less - what always happens .

Coffee and black tea never had any effect on me to keep me awake - I can sleep like baby afterwards, but my blood pressure is normally a bit lower so - that`s me .

Alcohol and medications mess up brain hormones, responsible for good quality of sleep, so normal sleeping patterns get seriously disturbed.

It is not important how long you sleep per day- it is just important that sleep is of good depression is what needs to be healed, not quantity of sleep.

Many people sleep 7-8 hours per night because they force themselves to that, but when you analyse their behaviour during the day, you see that they are tensed, nervous, not focused...too aggressive, moody...

For only few people is 7-8 hours really enough - especially for those ones who did not have too much traumatic events in the life.

During the winter it would be natural to sleep when there is not daylight - because melatonin starts to be secreted as soon as sunset is over...but we people don`t do it. I find my cats very inspiring - they don`t make problems about sleep, they do it as much as they want it, and nobody judges them, neither force them to find a job, LOL.

I wish you very happy 2011...

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 15, 2011:

Thanks so much for your feedback Trish, it is interesting to hear your experiences as it lends credence to the points made in this hub. I really hope you manage to solve your issues so that your sleep can become more rewarding.

trish1048 on January 15, 2011:

Hi Misty,

In my case, I have become a sleep hound. Many weekends will be spent mostly sleeping. I'll stay up for several hours, then start to feel sleepy, then allow myself to nap. This is a pattern I've noticed for the past several months. Depression? certainly. It affords me an escape from my worries. Do I feel rested come Monday morning? Of course not. The whole problem with this is no matter how much sleep I allow myself, the issues are still here. The better choice would be to handle what's bothering me instead of avoiding it.

Eating right before I go to bed always makes me dream, mostly nightmares. So I don't do that too often.

Good choices for me would be a healthier diet, certainly exercise, even if only walking, and setting aside time to tackle one issue at a time. Then maybe my life would be more manageable, I'd have more energy and require less sleep.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 11, 2011:

Hi Nell, I have had a load of blood tests, even recently, and all are normal, so this is definitely not thyroid in my case. Guess I am stuck with depression, and there are many other symptoms I have that are equally associated with this, e.g. bad memory, mood swings etc.

Thanks for commenting on the hub and glad you liked it :)

Nell Rose from England on January 11, 2011:

Hi, misty, I totally understand this, I have the same problem sometimes, especially the waking up and my mind wizzing around, the trouble is Doctors can get confused between depression and a bad thyroid, this was my problem so maybe you have a too high thyroid, or maybe too low, the symptoms can get muddled up, great info, cheers nell

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2011:

LOL Neil, afraid so, but at least you know where to start your investigations now, although I guess you can rule out being pregnant as a cause for a need for excessive sleep.

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on January 10, 2011:

Oh My -- here I thought I only had a mind over mattress problem. Now there is a list of possible causes... LOL

Cool hub! Thanks

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2011:

Hi msorenson, you are so lucky to only need three to six hours of sleep. I wish I could say the same as I waste so much of my life simply sleeping it away.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2011:

Hi Bob, I was on medication for depression much like your friend, but it made so little difference I told my Doctor I wanted to come off it, (Prozac was an exception, this made a difference, but in all the wrong ways, so much so I hubbed about it). I still need the endless sleep though, and my depression thankfully is not simply as a result of boyfriend problems (although when I was many years younger it might have been different I guess).

Not really sure if tablets will help her, but everyone is different so they might. I do identify with her 'low self esteem' though, that is something I can really relate too as I suffer from this myself. A general feeling of worthlessness and being pointless as an individual. Hard to explain, but living with it, it makes perfect sense, and I suspect this is a sentiment most people with depression, suffering from this symptom would echo.

Thanks for coming back to comment further Bob :)

msorensson on January 10, 2011:

Hi, Mistyhorizon,

I think when I was little, I used to sleep a lot. Until 12 years old. The school requirements for High School along with a lot of other things to do...Then college changed all that.

I don't sleep as much now. I will be happy with five or six but I really only need three or four, and always, well, almost always it is a good sleep.

Thanks!! I enjoyed the hub and your approach as to why.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on January 10, 2011:

I have a girl friend - in the not-an-item sense - who suffers from depresssion (usually over some bloke). She has some trouble with self-image (can't recall the other name for it). She has been put on two types of pills and has to stay on them for a year. She is one of these people who never question her doctor (blind faith). She has improved, though, but is now tired a lot and a bit like a zombie. No free lunch i guess,

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2011:

LOL, Cheers Bob, I used to love a siesta when I lived in Tenerife, it was simply too hot in the afternoons to do much else. Can't say I have that excuse here though sadly. My main issue is with depression, but I fall into a couple of the other categories above too.

Cheers for your comment as always :)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on January 10, 2011:

Yes...just kidding in above post. After becoming mas Mexicano que Anglo I have discovered a regular siesta of from half an hour to two hours in the late-ish afternoon, plus about six hours at night works for me (and about 80 million Mexicans). I think we tend to live very unaturally where sleeping times and amount is concerned. Lions, for example, sleep about 18 hours in 24. I suppose there are creatures that stay up for 16 hours and then sleep - or try to - for 8, but I can't think of any apart from man off-hand. It's hard to sleep just when you feel like it, but our metabolism demands it and evolution hasn't dissuaded us from these desires and needs yet. Good hub, Misty, may your rest be improved. Bob

diogenes from UK and Mexico on January 10, 2011:

'Cause you're a lazy old moo! Now I'll read the article!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 09, 2011:

Hi Birdmaru, I would be a zombie if I only had 6 - 7 hours of sleep, truly. I struggle to wake up or get up even after ten plus hours of sleep. On a couple of occasions recently I have literally slept from 06.00am round to 20.00pm, and still got up feeling tired. What I do recall is that I experienced hugely complex dreams throughout this time, (and by complex, I mean mini-stories, much like soap opera plots etc, not just vague nonsensical dreams). I just feel exhausted all the time, and do get irritated when people say to my Husband I should 'get a job', when they have no clue about depression, even though they have been told I suffer from it.

Birdmaru from Thailand on January 09, 2011:

I would like to take a rest more than 8 hours per day.. but I have rest time only 6 - 7 hours. That makes me feel sleepy all day.

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