Sleeping Too Much: Causes and Effects

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There’s nothing quite like a good nap in the middle of the day. After a nap, you’re supposed to feel invigorated with energy; however, that isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes, you may find yourself feeling even sleepier just after a much-anticipated nap. Why is it that more sleep isn’t helping?

Read on to find out which sleep habits are actually doing you more harm than good. And find out why that extra nap may not be the best idea for you.

What Is Considered “Sleeping Too Much”?

It may seem like you can’t seem to get enough rest, but in fact, oversleeping may be the culprit behind your feelings of fatigue. Most healthy adults should be sleeping between seven and nine hours per day. Sleeping more than that is definitely considered oversleeping.

What Are the Risks of Oversleeping?

It may seem like oversleeping is trivial, but too much sleep can actually have adverse effects on your health. Studies have shown oversleeping may be linked to heart disease, diabetes, depression, stroke, and even death.

Why Do I Sleep So Much?

The key to avoiding oversleeping is to find out why you oversleep in the first place. A lack of exercise and healthy eating habits can leave you feeling weaker and more tired. In turn, you sleep more to compensate.

But the problem isn’t in how many hours you’re resting. The problem is in the unhealthy habits that are slowing you down. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle can help reduce your feelings of fatigue. 

Why Am I Sleeping So Much All of a Sudden?

Reason Behind Sleeping so Much All of sudden

Another cause of oversleeping is a health condition or illness. Extreme or constant fatigue – especially when brought on suddenly – can often be a symptom of an underlying problem. Be sure to see your physician for a complete checkup annually to make sure all is well with you.

Other Causes of Oversleeping

Here are some other common reasons that you may be sleeping too much:

  • New medication or dosage. Taking new medications or adjusting your dosage of medication may affect your sleep patterns or even your level of fatigue.
  • Failure to get consecutive sleep. If you are getting fragmented sleep here and there, you may be left feeling tired during the day. This can lead to a nap. Your combined sleep for the day may exceed the recommended nine hours, but since it isn’t consecutive, you still feel sleepy. It is best to get your sleep in seven to nine consecutive hours.
  • Lack of energy due to a lack of exercise. It may seem challenging to get started at first, but exercising actually gives you more energy. Exercising regularly will help combat those midday sleepy times.
  • Napping in the middle of the day. A midday nap may seem like the answer to your problems, but this isn’t the case. When a nap exceeds about 10 to 20 minutes, it can often do more harm than good. You fall into a deeper sleep and wake up groggy. Then you may have difficulty getting your consecutive hours at night. Try to fight the urge to nap.
  • Sugar addiction. Sugar is notorious for zapping your body of energy. It’s a huge factor when it comes to feeling sleepy and weak. You may think this is fatigue, but it is actually a weakness. You can’t fix this with more sleep. You can only fix it by developing healthier eating habits and ditching sugar.

Methods to Help You Stop Oversleeping

Before you can combat your oversleeping problem, you need to determine why you are oversleeping. If it is being caused by a health condition, you need to have it properly treated by a healthcare practitioner.

If it is not an underlying health issue, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to start feeling more energized throughout the day: 

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get a full night’s rest of seven to nine hours per night
  • Nap no longer than 10 to 20 minutes
  • Start jogging
  • Listen to music
  • Create a list of goals to achieve and then attain them (motivation is key!)

Sleep Conditions

Different Sleep Conditions

Another reason for your oversleeping may be the result of common sleep disorders like hypersomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.

Hypersomnia

Those who suffer from hypersomnia feel extreme sleep all day long, even after many hours of sleep. This condition can be treated with medication. If you think you may be suffering from hypersomnia – also known as Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) – visit your physician today.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This serious health condition can actually cause your breathing patterns to stop and start throughout your sleep. This can be dangerous. It can also lead to even more sleepiness. If you suffer from sleep apnea, meet with your physician to discuss the best course of action for you.

It’s Not About Needing More Sleep

Very often, sleepiness isn’t the result of needing more sleep, but sleeping too much. Oversleeping can actually leave you feeling more tired. Getting more hours of rest – above and beyond the recommended seven to nine hours – is not the answer. Instead, getting better quality sleep should be the goal.

The Bottom Line

The best way to treat oversleeping is to avoid the triggers that make you feel sleepy. For example, a high sugar diet, not exercising regularly, and taking long daytime naps can all be the reasons behind your sleeping patterns.

Oversleeping may seem harmless, but studies show it is linked to severe health conditions. Before you put your health at risk any further, get to the bottom of why you are oversleeping in the first place. Once you know why you can take the appropriate steps to correct the situation.

When it comes to your health, you can’t take any chances. Rely on the expertise of your physician. Discuss your problem, and he or she will be able to help guide you into the best next steps. Whether it’s a complete lifestyle change or a need for medication, together you can find the solution.

Millions of Americans suffer from oversleeping. Don’t let fatigue and low energy get you down. Find out how to conquer your problem today and live your best life to the fullest.

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