You wake up, check the time, and feel a moment of disbelief followed by dread — you overslept. Again. And just like that, you’re playing catch-up for the rest of the day.
We’ve all been there—everyone oversleeps sometimes. But if you find yourself doing it over and over again, frustratedly asking yourself, “Why do I sleep so late?” it might be time to investigate what’s causing you to oversleep.
For most of us, the answer is simple: we’re not getting enough sleep, so our bodies compensate the sleep deprivation stages with oversleeping. We’ll break down why you might not be sleeping well and how to improve your sleep so that you can wake up bright, well-rested, and on top of the day from the moment you first open your eyes.
Let’s start with the basics—is sleeping late bad for you?
It depends on what you mean by “sleeping late.”
Studies suggest we’re healthier when we:1
If your responsibilities allow you to wake up whenever you want, there’s nothing inherently unhealthy about a late bedtime: going to bed at 2 am every night and waking up at 10 am every morning. However, if you’re a night owl who has to wake up early to start work or hustle the kids to school, then staying up to 3 am can lead you to cut your sleep short and negatively affecting your sleep hygiene. And that is a problem.
Sleep deprivation can increase the risk for numerous physical health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. It can also affect your mental health, contributing to fuzzy thinking, irritability, lower energy levels, and even a lower sex drive.1
In short, if you’re sleeping late because you’re sleep deprived, then yes, that’s unhealthy because it’s poor sleep. But developing some simple habits can help you enjoy a long, deep, healthy sleep.
It’s important for your physical and mental health to have enough sleep. But what does “enough” mean? How much sleep do you really need?
Typically, research suggests you get six to eight hours of sleep every night. Waking up too soon can mean you’re cutting your sleep cycle short and not receiving enough REM sleep [which affects your circadian rhythm.2
While you don’t necessarily need eight hours of sleep exactly, it’s important to note that you can’t “make up” the sleep you missed during the workweek by sleeping longer on the weekend. Your body needs six to eight hours of sleep every night to operate at peak levels.1
Research suggests we have 351 genetic factors that influence whether we prefer to stay up late or wake up early.2 In an ideal world, we could all listen to our bodies natural sleep inclinations. But practically speaking, many night owls have early morning responsibilities that require them to wake up earlier than they want to.
Here’s the good news: there are several tactics you can use to start going to bed earlier and ensuring you sleep well, so you can wake up bright and early to seize the day.
There are several recommendations to help you get enough sleep and still wake up early like you want to. They tend to cluster into two categories—suggestions that help you fall asleep earlier and suggestions that help you sleep more deeply. In both cases, the suggestions aim to help you sleep six to eight hours every night and keep your body from feeling the need to oversleep to have enough rest.
You can help yourself start falling asleep earlier in the evening by:1
In addition to these straightforward habits, there’s also a psychological phenomenon where people who wish they had more free time in their day may procrastinate going to bed as a means of gaining a few more hours to do what they want. Unfortunately, that can lead to sleep deprivation, along with sleeping late the next morning.2
If the reason you can’t stick to a consistent bedtime feels more complicated than accidentally drinking one too many cups of coffee, you may want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy. It can help you address the behaviors and beliefs that influence your choice to stay up too late.1
Even if you go to bed on time, you might still feel excessively tired in the morning if you’re not sleeping deeply enough.
To improve your sleep, try:
Research suggests that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can negatively impact your sleep.4 If you find yourself tossing and turning even after instituting better sleep habits, you might want to try investing in the kind of expertly engineered, ridiculously soft mattress created to help you enjoy a relaxing and refreshing night’s sleep.
At Casper, we know an amazing night’s sleep can change your whole day. That’s why our researchers, engineers, and designers are constantly creating new and innovative products to improve your sleep quality — starting with our wildly popular mattresses. Our mattresses use zoned support, premium foam, and cooling technology to keep you cradled and comfortable all night long.
With a mattress this comfortable, it’s that much easier to go to bed on time.