Having too much sleep can be more harmful to your health than you actually think. Yes, it may be difficult to understand how something so good can be harmful, but there is a whole philosophy behind oversleeping.
Oversleeping – Risks And Causes
Good sleep is crucial for balanced health. Actually, proper sleep is mandatory if you want to maintain a healhty and happy life. However, just with anything else in your life, although it may be good – if you over use it, you can expect some negative outcomes. The same goes for oversleeping.
Oversleeping has been linked to numerous medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes and even increased risk of death. Interestingly, two other factors are linked with oversleeping: depression and low socioeconomic status. This combination is often the reason for the observed negative health effects.
But… how socioeconomic status can be linked with oversleeping? Truth is that people with lower, or significantly lower, socioeconomic status may have less access to health care. Therefore, they may experience more undiagnosed illnesses, including heart disease, which may actually cause oversleeping.
Are You Sleeping Too Much?
To be able to understand this question, you need to fully understand what oversleeping actually is, and what does mean. Do you know how much sleep do you need every day? Well, there is simple math when it comes to this and it’s related to your age.
The best way to know how much sleep do you need is to check here how much sleep do you need based on your age.
Once you determine this you will be able to understand your sleeping needs much better. Overall, for humans, it’s normal to sleep somewhere between seven to nine hours, for the adults between 18 and 68 years.
Also, you need to understand that your sleeping needs will change over time. Therefore, you may expect to need more sleep as you get older. In addition, your activity level plays a huge role in your general health and lifestyle habits.
For example, during periods of sickness or stress, you may feel an additional need for sleep.
Make sure that you always get enough sleep and follow your body rhythm. However, make sure that you don’t sleep more than you actually need.
Why Do People Sleep Too Much?
If we can easily learn how much sleep do we need per age it may seem confusing why do we still oversleep. Simply said, people may oversleep for many different reasons. In majority cases, people tend to oversleep due to specific medical condition named hypersomnia. So, you can look at oversleeping as a form of a medical disorder, as it is.
Hypersomnia makes people suffer from extreme sleepiness throughout the day. This condition can’t be supported in any form by napping. Also, hypersomnia makes people sleep for long periods of time. Therefore, many people with hypersomnia experience low energy, anxiety, and even memory problems. These symptoms are common in those who have a constant need for sleep.
There is one more medical condition that may increase need for sleep and that’s obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep.
Of course, not everyone with an oversleeping disorder suffers from a medical condition or a sleep disorder. Other seen causes of oversleeping may include the use of alcohol before bedtime or some prescribed medications. And of course, there are those people who simply love and want to sleep a lot.
Side Effects Of Oversleeping
People with hypersomnia may experience some of the following issues:
- low energy
- back pain
- increased risk of death
- heart disease
- memory problems
Also, people who suffer from oversleeping are exposed to a higher risk of auto accidents. So, if you are experiencing excessive sleepiness, try to stay away from operating heavy equipment.
Diagnose Of Oversleeping
Diagnose is an important step if you want to help yourself and avoid any potential accidents. If you are experiencing sleepiness for a longer period, it would be wise to visit your doctor. If your symptoms of sleepiness are lasting for more than a month you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Of course, the doctor will ask you numerous question and you should be able to answer them, as precise as possible. You may expect question-related to your:
- lifestyle habits
- health history
Your doctor may recommend the following if your sleep cannon be attributed to other medical conditions:
- Keep a sleep diary: this is a good method to record your sleep habits and reflect on your sleeping practice. Moreover, this is a great way to check and also reflect on your bedtime routine. You will have to write at what time do you go to sleep and at what time you get up.
If you get up during the night, you should write those hours as well. If you have any issues that may keep you awake at night, such as nocturia or restless leg syndrome, make sure that you inform your doctor about it.
By keeping a sleep diary, your doctor will have insight into your sleeping schedule, sleeping habits, and patterns. This approach can help enormously if you could keep a sleep diary at least one week before you visit your doctor. This way you will save time and money.
- Take a multiple sleep latency test: in order to have this test, you will have to do a polysomnogram test first. A sleep latency test is done the day after a polysomnogram. Basically, what this test does is measuring your sleep as you nap during the day.
- Take a polysomnogram: to get this test, you will have to stay overnight in a sleep center attached to a monitor. The monitor has one role and that’s to measure your brain activity, leg movement, heart, rate, eye movement, and much more.
- Rate your sleepiness on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale: this is a great way to rate your sleepiness and help your doctor understand how sleep is affecting your everyday life.
Have A Healthier Sleep
If you sleep more than average seven to eight hours per day, you should see a doctor. After all, your doctor is the only person who can confirm, based on tests, if you are really suffering from oversleeping or you are simply tired and you need some extra sleep.
If you oversleep because of alcohol or any heavy practice before you got to sleep then you should work on those factors and lower them or cut them from your bedtime routine and your lifestyle. Also, you can try simple five-steps to enhance your sleep and sleep health.
5 Tips For Better Sleep
Prepare your body for sleep by following these steps:
1. Have A Proper Sleep Schedule
Try to be consistent when it comes to your sleeping hours. Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, including weekends. Your body loves routine. After all, our bodies are designed to work perfectly and you should support that with proper sleeping habits.
Your body expects you to rest and sleep. So, eventually, you just might get into a rhythm where sleep comes more easily.
2. Create A Perfect Sleep Environment
Feeling comfortable will help you sleep better. One of the ways to have that feeling of being comfortable is to create a perfect sleep environment. This means that you are willing to help your body sleep. Therefore, make sure that your room is dark, cool, and quiet. Moreover, make sure that you don’t have tech gears with you and that your bedroom is used only for sleep and sleep-related activities.
If you get easily distracted, try using a white-noise machine or earplugs. Also, think about the curtains if you don’t have one. It will help with light. Have proper sleeping equipment, and if possible limit the access of children and pets to your bedroom.
3. Remove The Devices
Make sure that you limit everything that has a screen. Actually, you should limit anything that emits blue light. This light can disturb your normal body rhythm, including circadian rhythm and disturb your sleep. Power down all of your devices. Try to limit your exposure to this light at least two to three hours before bed.
4. Have Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Having good sleep and sleep routine means that you take good care of yourself while you are awake. You need to have active and healthy steps while you are awake if you want to have better sleep.
Think about your habits from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. Think about what you drink and eat.
5. Keep A Sleep Diary
If you have any concerns about your sleep, try keeping a sleep diary for a minimum of a week. This way you will have your sleeping patterns written and your doctor will be able to understand your body better and its need for sleep.
Feel free to include everything and anything about your habits and everyday routine so you can show it to your doctor. Be sure to write down how long you sleep each night, and how long it takes to fall asleep.
If you nap during the day, write that down as well. Moreover, write down anything related to your rest and anything that you may think it’s important.