Too much sleep?

Cute dogs, sleeping dog, rescue dog
C. Rad getting some zzzzzz’s on his favorite blankie.

Is there such thing?

I’m questioning this because I’m currently pushing on 9.5+ hours of sleep per night. I believe this is mostly due to our current location in the PNW — sunrise around 8AM and sunset about 4:30PM. For nearly the past 20 years I’ve lived without an alarm clock to rise in the mornings (unless I’m due somewhere very early in the day). This habit/blessing originated during my college years while suffering from insomnia. My doctor at the time recommended I leave all curtains, blinds, shutters, etc open 24 hrs per day to allow my body to naturally adjust my circadian rhythm. As a result of this exercise (which, by the way, completely curbed my insomnia issues within a few weeks) I grew a deep aversion to loud, rude awakenings.

Over the years, there have been numerous occasions necessitating an early morning rise, before the sun came up and naturally woke me. As technology advanced, the various choices available through notification tones on mobile devices allowed a way to less rudely awaken myself. Most recently I’ve enjoyed the Sleep Cycle app, which allows a window for waking time that is based off my own sleep cycles. If you, too, dislike rude awakenings and alarm clocks, go ahead and do yourself a favor with trying the app for a couple weeks. Let me know what you think, too!

Back to my initial inquiry…I’ve had the luxury of properly prioritizing a solid nights sleep for at least the past 6 years. And through that I’ve found my sweet spot is between 8 and 8.5 hours a night. So, as I’m seeing my sweet spot expand during these cold, dark winter months, I ponder:

  • Should I start setting my Sleep Cycle app to wake me near the 8-8.5 hr sleep window?
  • Or, should I embrace my body’s natural desire to hibernate a bit longer during this season?
  • Has anyone else experienced this seasonal change in their sleep cycles?

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