Oversleeping might occur due to inadequate nighttime rest. Consistent excessive sleep could signal an underlying health issue. It’s crucial to address prolonged sleep patterns for overall well-being.

Oversleeping, or “long sleeping,” entails regularly exceeding 10 hours of sleep per day. While insufficient sleep garners attention, excessive sleep may harbor health risks and hint at underlying conditions.

Explore further to understand the causes, symptoms, and remedies for oversleeping.

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Recommended Sleep Duration | Causes of Oversleeping | Symptoms of Oversleeping | Complications of Oversleeping | Diagnosing Oversleeping | Treating Oversleeping | FAQs | Conclusion

How much sleep do you need?

Determining your nightly sleep requirement relies on factors like age and lifestyle.

Refer to the latest guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation:

0–3 months14–17 hours (includes naps)
4–11 months12–15 hours (includes naps)
1–2 years11–14 hours (includes naps)
3–5 years10–13 hours
6–13 years9–11 hours
14–17 years8–10 hours
18–64 years7–9 hours
65 years and older7–8 hours

What causes oversleeping?

Oversleeping might stem from repaying sleep debt, occurring when trying to catch up on missed hours within a short timeframe, termed sleep debt.

For instance, weekends may see over 10 hours of sleep due to weekday late-night studying for exams.

However, recurrent oversleeping may suggest hypersomnia, where individuals experience extreme daytime sleepiness, along with:

  • Sleeping for up to 18 hours daily.
  • Multiple daily naps.
  • Persistent grogginess upon waking.

Sleeping disorders

Various sleep disorders can lead to prolonged sleep, such as:

  • Idiopathic hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder
  • Parasomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression

Medications and substances

Excessive sleepiness and oversleeping can result from various medications and substances, such as:

  • Sedatives
  • Cannabis
  • Opioids
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Hypertension medications
  • Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
  • Alcohol
  • Antidepressants

Consulting a healthcare provider if you suspect medication or substance-induced oversleeping is crucial. They can assist in adjusting your treatment or providing necessary support.

Head injury

A review from 2019 revealed that 28% of individuals who endure a traumatic brain injury (TBI) encounter hypersomnia.

What are the symptoms of oversleeping?

Symptoms of oversleeping vary based on the cause and duration—chronic or short-term. These can include:

  • Agitation
  • Irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • More daytime naps
  • Reduced appetite
    Additionally, you might encounter brain fog, sleep drunkenness, and memory issues.

What are the complications of oversleeping?

The complications of oversleeping vary based on its duration and cause. Short-term oversleeping from sleep deprivation may trigger temporary anxiety, fogginess, and fatigue.

Yet, chronic oversleeping raises the risk of various health issues like obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease, and diabetes.

Consulting a healthcare provider is essential for regular oversleeping. They can offer a diagnosis and craft a personalized treatment plan.

How is oversleeping diagnosed?

When visiting a doctor, expect a thorough examination involving:

  • Sleep habits inquiry
  • Lifestyle and dietary habits discussion
  • Review of medications and substances used

Additionally, the doctor may conduct tests like polysomnography or multiple sleep latency tests to aid diagnosis.

Keep a sleep diary beforehand to record patterns like sleep onset and waking times, as well as how you feel upon waking.

Post-appointment, maintain journaling and possibly wear a wrist actigraph to monitor sleep-wake cycles further.

How is oversleeping treated?

Oversleeping treatment varies based on the root cause. Addressing underlying health issues can restore normal sleep patterns. Treatment may involve lifestyle adjustments, home remedies, and medications, tailored to your needs.

Natural remedies

Implementing lifestyle changes and natural remedies can enhance sleep hygiene and regulate your sleep patterns.

According to the CDC, strategies like maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, exercising for at least 30 minutes daily, avoiding electronics before bed, and refraining from caffeine, alcohol, and food intake before bedtime can aid sleep improvement.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may also be beneficial for oversleeping, available through licensed professionals in-person, online, or via phone consultations.

Discover more about building a healthier sleep routine for optimal rest.


Studies indicate that medications are often more effective in treating hypersomnia compared to at-home remedies and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Modafinil (Provigil) is commonly prescribed as a first-line medication for hypersomnia related to sleep disorders like narcolepsy, known for its wake-promoting properties.

Other medications that may assist in treating oversleeping, depending on the underlying cause, include pitolisant (Wakix), solriamfetol (Sunosi), and sodium oxybate (Xyrem).

Frequently asked questions

What happens when you oversleep?

Brief episodes of oversleeping can result in drowsiness, fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog. Conversely, prolonged oversleeping has been linked to various health issues including sleep apnea, idiopathic hypersomnia, diabetes, and stroke, among others.

Is it normal to sleep for 12 hours?

Sleeping for 12 hours exceeds the National Sleep Foundation’s guidelines for individuals aged 6 years and older. Consult a healthcare provider if you consistently sleep for 12 hours daily.

Why am I sleeping too much?

Sleeping excessively could indicate an attempt to recover from intense physical activity or insufficient sleep. However, persistent oversleeping might signal an underlying sleep disorder or health issue.

What to do when oversleeping?

To shake off the effects of oversleeping, try hydrating, practicing yoga, having a nutritious meal, splashing cold water on your face, and engaging in physical activity.


Oversleeping entails resting for 10 or more hours within a day.

Short-term oversleeping might stem from recovering lost sleep.

Yet, if you consistently sleep 9 hours or more and feel fatigued, consult a healthcare provider. It could signify an underlying health issue.

Seeking medical advice ensures accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment.

Jump to section

Recommended Sleep Duration | Causes of Oversleeping | Symptoms of Oversleeping | Complications of Oversleeping | Diagnosing Oversleeping | Treating Oversleeping | FAQs | Conclusion

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