Can "Too Much Sleep" Make You Depressed? Skip to main content

Having a full sleep day has a great impact on your health. When you get too much sleep, this can be a leading cause of depression and stress in your daily life.

A supreme sleeping plan consists of 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. A perfect sleep routine will make your day great and a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, getting more than 9 hours of sleep can make you feel drowsy, lazy and heavy-headed the whole day. It does more on wasting your day for no good, actually.

To understand this mystery, it is vital to know the relationship between oversleeping and depression. Let’s discuss this in detail in this blog and see what the research says about the lingering question, “Can Too Much Sleep Make You Depressed?”

Why Might Excessive Sleep Cause Depression?          

More research is still needed to fully understand the complex relationship between excessive sleep duration and depression risk. Longitudinal studies exploring causal pathways are critical to determine whether oversleeping is a cause or consequence of poor mental health.

There are a few theories as to how too much sleep could contribute to depression:

  • Disrupts Circadian Rhythms
  • Reduces Productivity
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Social Isolation

Oversleeping can indirectly worsen depression by unsettling 24-hour rhythms, diminishing motivation and involvement, and lowering social interactions—all of which are critical for mental health.

Symptoms of Depression Linked with Oversleeping

On top of persistent sad or low feelings, depression often shows up in other ways that make daily life a struggle. Some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, or excessively guilty
  • Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Feeling exhausted all the time, with no energy left
  • Having trouble focusing your mind on tasks
  • Sleep issues, like insomnia or sleeping the day away
  • Changes in appetite – either eating more or less than usual
  • Intrusive thoughts of death or suicide
  • Persistent irritability (more common for men)

Women tend to experience more sadness and guilt with depression, while anger is more frequent for men. Teenagers may act out in school or have motivation issues. Younger kids sometimes fake sick to avoid going.

If your mood reliably worsens once a fall hits, talk to your doctor – they may recommend a light therapy box to stave off the sadness.

No matter the specific signs, it’s important to get help if depression’s draining your daily life of joy for two weeks straight. Your doctor can evaluate the best treatment plan to help lift your mood back up.

What Does the Research Say?

While the link between oversleeping and depression is still somewhat inconclusive, several studies have found an association:

One analysis of multiple studies found regular sleeping over 8 hours per night was associated with a 25% increased risk of developing depression within the following five years compared to typical 7-8 hour sleepers.

Another study of over 43,000 women found those sleeping 9+ hours per night were 30% more likely to become depressed over ten years versus women sleeping 7-8 hours.

Research has also linked long sleepers to worse depression outcomes. One review showed excessive sleepers were less likely to achieve remission from major depression with treatment.

So, in summary, the current research literature does provide some evidentiary basis that habitual oversleeping could raise vulnerability to future depression or poorer mental health outcomes through various behavioral and biological mechanisms. However, more conclusive proof is still needed.

How Can Excessive Sleep Lead to Depression?

There are a few potential pathways by which too much shut-eye might predispose individuals to symptoms of depression:

Disrupted Circadian Rhythms

Disrupting our natural 24-hour circadian clocks with abnormal sleep/wake patterns like oversleeping can negatively impact mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin. Constantly being “out of sync” with our body’s internal timing raises depression risk.

Reduced Engagement & Purpose

Spending excess time in bed instead of being active and productive may leave long sleepers feeling unfulfilled. This lack of engagement and purpose is a known risk factor for developing depressed feelings.

Physical Inactivity

Getting insufficient daily activity from long periods of inactivity promotes feelings of low energy and lethargy, both of which are core symptoms of depression. Exercise has robust anti-depressant effects, by contrast.

Diminished Social Connections

Excessive sleep cuts into time for socializing and building relationships, a protective factor against mental illness. Isolation is linked to higher depression vulnerability.

So, in essence, oversleeping encourages behavioral and biological changes conducive to the development of depressive symptoms over the long term through disturbances in various mood-regulating systems.


Can depression also cause oversleeping?

Yes, it’s important to understand the connection between too much sleep and depression may go both ways. Poor mood can upset sleep-wake patterns. This can motivate oversleeping as a form of avoidance or escape from unpleasant feelings.

When should I be concerned about my sleep patterns?

Generally, sleeping more than 9-10 hours per night regularly without an identifiable cause (like shift work or illness) is a sign that quantity may impact quality of life. Seek help from your doctor if oversleeping is impairing daytime function or if you suspect an underlying mental health condition.

What can I do about oversleeping tendencies?

Some lifestyle strategies can help you avoid the side effects of oversleeping. Talking to your doctor is also a decent idea to rule out any basic medical causes and get recommendations according to your situation.

How do I know if I have depression?

Depression symptoms include persistent low mood, loss of appetite, insomnia/oversleeping, fatigue and laziness, poor focus, feeling worthless and pathetic, and thoughts of suicide. If symptoms last more than two weeks, talk to your doctor for an evaluation. Early treatment gives the best chances of recovery.


While the connection between habitual oversleeping and depression risk requires more extensive research, current evidence provides some indication that excessive daily sleep over long periods may negatively influence mood in specific individuals through multiple pathways.

If you notice disruptions to your regular sleep/wake cycles without explanation, it’s worth discussing with your physician to understand the causes and rule out potential underlying issues. Overall, sleep quality and habits matter greatly for mental well-being.

Leave a Reply