We all want to sleep more. Personally, I love to sleep too much, especially after a hard week. But how long is too long? And how long can a person sleep continuously? I found this question extremely interesting so I found out as much as I could about this topic and summarized everything for you. So let’s take a look at the results.
If you are a lazy reader, here’s everything in short:
How long a person can sleep continuously depends greatly on their health. A healthy person can sleep up to 16-20 hours, maybe even more. That depends on different factors like how exhausted you are. A person with a sleep disorder easily tops that. If you have a sleep disorder, you’ll easily sleep more than 40 hours continuously. That might sound cool to you at first, but there are some big downsides to it. Too much sleep causes health issues like dehydration and heart problems. If you sleep too much, don’t worry as long as it’s just occasionally. On a regular basis, too much sleep will become a problem.
How Long Can A Person Sleep Continuously?
If you weren’t woken up by your alarm every morning, you’d most likely sleep 8-10 hours every day depending on how much your body needs to regenerate. Any more than that will make you even more tired. Still, people try to test how long they can sleep continuously.
I researched results on some forums and most of them said they’d get up to 16 or sometimes even 20 hours. That’s more than twice of what you naturally need. After that, you will have an urge to get up. Especially because you need to go to the toilet or drink something.
A person with a serious sleep disorder sleeps can sleep about 20 hours daily. In extreme cases, you spend 40 hours sleeping continuously.
These amounts depend heavily on your age (kids need more sleep than adults), how long you slept the previous day and how tired you are and what you eat daily.
Someone on Quora wrote that he worked 18 hour days for 4 weeks straight. He then took a weekend off, fell asleep on Friday night and woke up Sunday afternoon. While this is an extreme case, this can still happen after exhausting weeks as he had. He then said he needed to pee for what felt like 30 minutes. In the evening he was able to regain his sleep rhythm by sleeping for another 8 hours until Monday.
When Do You Need More Sleep Than Normal?
We humans are able to adapt to everything. Sometimes we need to handle stressful and exhausting times. This has to be compensated by sleeping more. In general, you can say: You need more sleep than normal when your body lacks energy.
You’ve most likely experienced it personally when you were sick. Sick people need a lot of sleep to recover because sickness drains our bodies energy resources.
There are extreme situations in which your body needs a lot of time to recover. After you had really energy-taking days, you’ll need much more sleep. And you’ll be happy about it.
After Physical Labor
Also, when you are physically exhausted and had a really hard day, for example, you were helping someone moving to another flat or you ran a marathon. You will need more hours of sleep than usual.
When you are stressed out at work you won’t be able to fall asleep as well as you should. Because of the lack of sleep, you will be more tired the next day and will have to sleep more.
If you are tired and lack of sleep daily, I found out about a secret weapon, that will improve your sleep quality tremendously. Most people know about it but don’t really use it. Take a look at my in-depth guide on sleep masks. Since I use one, my sleep improved a lot and it helps me to fall asleep every night.
Drugs And Alcohol
Misusing drugs and alcohol will destroy your sleep schedule and also make you sleep longer. On top of that, they destroy your body and your brain. Stay away from these things. I don’t want you to harm yourself.
After Not Getting Enough Sleep
Also, you will need more sleep if you don’t get enough sleep. Does that make sense? Yes, sleeping too little will prevent your body from refreshing. Maybe you are one of the people doing that every day. You go to school, university or to work from Monday to Friday getting way too little sleep (6 hours is already too little). As a result, you’ll sleep up to 12 hours or more on the weekends. And on top of that, you also destroyed their sleep schedule.
My Personal Experience Of Sleeping Too Much
This year, I experienced something similar. I was really sick one night (with puking and everything you hate having). Because of that, I didn’t get any sleep and on top of that: In that night, I also had to wake up at 3 am to take a plane flight. After the most terrible plane flight of my life, I was physically “dead”. I went to bed and slept for 18 hours just because of this one night.
To keep a stable sleep schedule, I have collected the best tips I know for you. Take a look at them here: These 5 Habits KILL Your Sleep Schedule
What Does Sleeping Too Much Do To You?
As you now already now, sleeping more than usual helps your body in extreme situations. But if you do it for no reason, there are a lot of problems you will encounter. The first problem is one you most likely already experienced. After sleeping too much continuously you will lose track of time. After waking up, you will have no feeling of what time it is. That feels really weird, especially if you wake up in the afternoon when your body normally thinks it’s morning.
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sleep Too Long
- You don’t drink while you sleep. And because your body needs water to regenerate and to keep your body temperature right, you also dehydrate. After waking up after a long sleep, you should definitely drink a big glass of water or two.
- In addition to that, you will have problems getting out of bed, because your brain can’t handle your sleep timings anymore. It’s not used to them. For example, sleeping for 12 hours is like sleeping for eight hours plus an additional 4 hours. After eight hours, you feel refreshed and fit. But then your body falls asleep again for 4 hours and then you wake up being really tired because your body doesn’t know how to handle 4 hours of sleep.
- Because of the same reason, you will experience grogginess throughout the day. Which usually isn’t what you want, because then your concentration goes down drastically. Especially at the weekends, when you tend to sleep too much, you miss so much time because you feel groggy. In my experience, sleeping 12 hours on weekends makes me feel like one day of the weekend just vanished.
- On top of that, sleeping too much also correlates with depression. That doesn’t mean too much sleep causes depression, but people who sleep more are more likely to also get depression.
- Also, there is an increased risk of heart diseases which I really don’t want you to get.
Therefore, I recommend you to sleep the usual 7-9 hours each day. Sleeping too much may sound awesome in the beginning but also comes with a lot of problems.
Sleep Disorders Involving Too Long Sleep
People with sleep disorders are the ones who can answer how long a person can sleep continuously. There are different forms of sleep disorders and most prevent you from sleeping. But some of them involve too long sleep.
Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy
For example hypersomnia. It causes excessive tiredness throughout the day and therefore forces you to sleep.
Another example is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where your brain can’t control your sleep schedule anymore. That causes too much sleep.
If you think you have one of these, definitely talk to a doctor. Sleeping too much doesn’t automatically mean you have a sleep disorder.
Personally, I love oversleeping sometimes. It’s only harmful if you do it on a regular basis.
As long as you’re sure you do it just because you want to and feel better afterward, there’s no need to worry.
How long can a person sleep continuously? If there’s one person in the world that can answer this, it’s you now. Some people can sleep 40 hours continuously and they hate it because can’t do anything about it and they miss their lives. You now found out about situations where your body needs a lot more sleep than usual and what its causes are. The most important thing to remember is: you need to oversleep when you are exhausted. Also, we talked about what sleeping too long does to you. For example, you lose track of time and dehydrate. Sadly, these are just two examples out of many.
My Thoughts On Sleeping Too Long Continuously
Still, we all love oversleeping and you shouldn’t worry if you only do it sometimes. I love it on weekends because I feel like I have to get back all the sleep I didn’t have during the week. Maybe that’s not smart at all, but it makes me feel good to know there won’t be an alarm ringing the next morning. So you probably have to answer “How long can you sleep continuously?” for yourself as well.
I got some of my information from the sleep doctor. Take a look at his page if you want to know more about sleep and health.
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!