October 2020 | Reviewed by: Shelley Hershner, MD and John Saito, MD
What is a long sleeper?
Generally, a person’s sleep requirement is determined by their biologic and internal clock. We often say that people need 7-9 hours of sleep, but some people require more sleep to feel rested.
“Long sleepers” are people who regularly sleep more than the average person their age. As adults, their nightly length of sleep tends to be 10 to 12 hours. This sleep is very normal and of a good quality. It is simply much longer than most people because of their natural biological clock.
A long sleeper’s main complaint is that there is not enough time during the day to be awake. The disorder begins in childhood and is a life-long. It is not caused by a sudden change in medical or mental conditions. It is a very stable, consistent pattern of sleep.
Many long sleepers are sleep deprived because they can’t get the sleep they need during the week due to the demands of work, school, and family. Often what will occur is that they catch up with 12 to 15 hours of sleep on weekends and holidays.
A long sleeper who does not get enough sleep will feel sleepy during the day. This need for long hours of sleep can disrupt relationships with family and friends. It can be hard to keep up with social events and job or school schedules. But as long as they get enough sleep, long sleepers will feel alert and well rested during the day.