March 30, 2020

Over the past few weeks, life has thrown us a curveball. Have you ever wondered, “why am I sleeping so much?” Well, right now many of us find ourselves out of work and life as we known it has been changed. Our daily routines are at a standstill and because of this, our sleep schedules have been greatly affected. With no need to report to our jobs, a large population of people have been sleeping well beyond the needed 7-9 hours a night. What many don’t know is that oversleeping is actually harmful to our health.

 

How do I know I am sleeping too much?

  1. You wake up feeling tired - If you get the right amount of sleep, you will wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, however if you get too much, you will feel sleepy.
  2. You feel sluggish throughout the day - In addition to feeling fatigued, if you get too much sleep, you will be messing up your circadian clock and because of this, will feel like a zombie during the day.
  3. You’re getting headaches - Oversleeping and lying down too long can affect your brain’s neurotransmitters, which can reduce your serotonin levels and onset headaches.
  4. You have troubling remembering - Sleeping too much can cause memory issues and actually age your brain’s cognitive abilities, sometimes up to two years.
  5. You are in pain - Your body may experience aches and pains due to inflammation in getting too much sleep. Studies have shown that if you sleep greater than nine hours, there’s an increase in cytokine, which helps regulate your inflammatory response.

 

What happens if I sleep too much?

Sometimes the cause of sleepiness isn’t so easy to figure out and oversleeping can actually be due to a greater and underlying issue, such as a sleep disorder. These disorders can include narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), obstructive sleep apnea, and more. It is always best to consult your doctor if you believe you have a sleep condition.

Excessive sleeping, most often referred to as hypersomnia, occurs when an individual sleeps more than nine hours a night. This disorder only affects about two percent of people, where they require 10-12 hours of sleep to feel their best.

It’s important to note that oversleeping can cause a variety of medical problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Heart disease

 

How do I get the right amount of sleep?

While things are tough right now, try sticking to your regular routine to avoid the negative effects of sleeping too much. If your oversleeping is caused by a health issue, treating it may help you start sleeping normally. It’s important to speak directly to your doctor if you have concerns. You can also consider making lifestyle changes that address your poor sleep habits. Here are some other helpful things you can do to achieve better sleep:

  1. Try a sleep schedule
  2. Create an ideal sleep environment
  3. Power down your devices
  4. Keep a sleep diary

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