How Long Can A Person Sleep Continuously (And Why?)

Exact Answer: 9 Hours

Sleeping is an integral part of health. It is as important for the body as someone would consider food and water. As much as it is important, Sleep is an often neglected part of a human being’s daily routine. The right amount of sleep refreshes the body and helps it take up the tasks for the day.

However, oversleeping is as harmful as sleep deprivation, as the body would wake up tired in both the instances and would prove to be a problem in getting by the day without feeling fatigued. Oversleeping is when a person exceeds the needed hours of sleep, and would wake up more tired than before.

As different age groups have different needs related to food, the same goes for their sleep. Statistics show that babies of about 3 months of age, need 13-17 hours of sleep each day, while toddlers between 4 to 7 months need 12-16 hours of sleep. Children between the age of 1 to 2 years need 11-14 hours of sleep, whereas those who are 3 to 5 years must get 10-13 hours of sleep. However, these could be taken up with breaks in between.

As the level of work and energy increases, so the need to sleep decreases. Now, regular school-going children from age 6 to 12 years need 9-12 hours of sleep, whereas the teenagers and young adults need only 8-9 hours of sleep.

How Long A Person Can Sleep Continuously?

Age of the personHours of sleep needed
3 Months13-17 Hours
4-7 Months12-16 Hours
1-2 Years11-14 Hours
3-5 Years10-13 Hours
6-12 Years9-12 Hours
13 And Above8-9 Hours

The need for new-born children to sleep so much arises from the fact that they do not have an established cardiac rhythm, and need to sleep more during the night, than in the day. The young infants do not have continuous hours of sleep, rather they have frequent naps.

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Why Can A Person Only Sleep 9 Hours Continuously?

As the quote goes, “Excess of everything, is harmful.”

As far as sleep is concerned, both oversleeping as well as sleep deprivation are harmful to the Human body. Oversleeping is linked with many side-effects related to health, which includes impairing brain functions, harming the memory, increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s among many others.

The biggest risk of oversleeping is that it can lead of decreased brain functioning which harms the cognitive abilities of the brain. Too much sleep has also shown to result in significant mood changes, often resulting in depression. It also leads to weight gain.

Moreover, people who tend to oversleep on the weekends, to make up for the lack of sleep due to the working days, also end up resulting in having what’s called, “weekend migraine”, which makes them have severe headaches during the weekends.

There is a medical term, too, for people who oversleep more than usual, it is named “Hypersomnia.”  The condition makes people have extreme periods of sleepiness throughout the day which does not get relieved by napping. People suffering from Hypersomnia could also result in developing anxiety, memory problems, as well as depression in the long run, owing to their extreme need to sleep.

Studies have shown that oversleeping, or not having enough sleep can lead to Diabetes risk in the body. Back pains, where the prescribed cure used to be sleeping, can also arise due to sleeping too much.

Scaringly, people who sleep eight hours or more, are shown to have more death rates as compared to people who sleep for less than eight hours a day.

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Moreover, oversleeping is also linked to a breathing disorder called Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a very serious breathing disorder wherein, a person sleeping would stop breathing for frequent breaks during the night. This results in the person waking up and ending up tossing and turning all though the night. And to make up for the lost sleep, the person ends up sleeping during the day and gradually, oversleeps. This turns into a cycle of oversleeping through the day and waking up feeling tired than before.

Conclusion

Hence, the most a person should sleep continuously is 9 hours, as succeeding that period, would result in the person risking their mental and physical well-being.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079200901382
  2. https://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/reasons-why-oversleeping-is-bad-for-your-health-k1017-529428/

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