The risks of sleeping "too much". Survey of a National Representative Sample of 24671 adults (INPES health barometer)

PLoS One. 2014 Sep 16;9(9):e106950. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106950. eCollection 2014.


Background: A significant U-shaped association between sleep duration and several morbidity (obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease) and mortality risks has been regularly reported. However, although the physiological pathways and risks associated with "too short sleep" (<5 hours/day) have been well demonstrated, little is known about "too much sleeping".

Purpose: To explore socio-demographic characteristics and comorbidities of "long sleepers" (over 10 hours/day) from a nationally representative sample of adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional nationally representative sample of 24,671 subjects from 15 to 85-year-old. An estimated total sleep time (TST) on non-leisure days was calculated based on a specifically designed sleep log which allows to distinguish "long sleepers" from "short sleepers" (<5 hours/day). Insomnia was assessed according to the International classification of sleep disorders (ICSD-2).

Results: The average TST was 7 hours and 13 minutes (+/- 17 minutes). Six hundred and twelve subjects were "long sleepers" (2.7%) and 1969 "short sleepers" (7.5%). Compared to the whole group, "long sleepers" were more often female, younger (15-25 year-old) or older (above 65 year-old), with no academic degree, mostly clerks and blue collar workers. "Long sleepers" were significantly more likely to have psychiatric diseases and a greater body mass index (BMI). However, long sleep was not significantly associated with the presence of any other chronic medical disease assessed. Conversely, short sleep duration was significantly associated with almost all the other chronic diseases assessed.

Conclusions: In the general population, sleeping too much was associated with psychiatric diseases and higher BMI, but not with other chronic medical diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Public Health Surveillance*
  • Sleep*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

In France, this study was supported by INPES (Institut National de Prévention et d'éducation pour la Santé) (French national Institute of prevention and health education). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.