Setting The Stage For Healthier Sleep
The field of sleep science is still looking into the cause and effect relationship between oversleeping and health, but some habits and steps that promote better quality sleep and healthy sleep duration are known.
While a small percentage of people naturally sleep longer, for many long sleepers , there are certain conditions, behaviors and environmental factors that can increase sleep need or affect sleep quality .
To get an idea of how to avoid oversleeping and get healthier Zzzs, we reached out to a few sleep experts for their words of wisdom. Heres what they had to say:
Impaired Brain Functioning And Mental Health
Sleep plays an important role in the brain, as the brain clears out waste byproducts, balances neurotransmitters and processes memories at rest. At both short and long extremes, rest may have an effect on mood and mental health.
CognitionUsing data from the Lumosity brain-training platform, researchers found that cognitive performance on three different games all peaked when people sleptaround seven hours,Verified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceworsening with more or less rest. Other studies have also foundmemory impairmentsVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceandVerified SourceResearch GateNetwork service for scientific researchers that makes it easy for experts to find and share papers.View sourcewith longer sleep.
Degenerative DiseasesOther research indicates that getting too little or too much sleep may be tied to increased Alzheimers disease risk factors and a largeSpanish studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourcefound that long sleepers may be at increased risk of developing dementia.
Depression and Mental HealthOversleeping is considered a potential symptom of depression. While many people with depression report insomnia, about 15% tend to oversleep.
Physical Side Effects Of Oversleeping
Unfortunately, oversleeping can indeed cause a host of nasty side effects for those that do it for a long period of time:
There have been some studies conducted by American scientists that show a correlation between oversleeping and diabetes. People that sleep more than nine hours or less than five hours per night have shown to be 50% more likely to suffer from diabetes. Mind you, oversleeping is not shown to cause diabetes. However, it can be a symptom of underlying medical problems which can also lead to diabetes.
Although this is a problem more common with people with insomnia, depression was proven to be present in people who oversleep. In fact, 15% of all people that suffer from depression also sleep more than nine hours per night.
By sleeping more you are being less active. This gives the body less time to burn off its energy which otherwise gets stored as fat. Eventually this will lead to obesity, which by itself can cause a lot of other medical problems.
One of the most common and most unpleasant side effects that most people who oversleep experience is headaches. This is caused by the effect that oversleeping has on the neurotransmitters of the brain.
There is a disturbing connection between oversleeping and heart disease. Studies conducted on people have shown that those that oversleep have a 38% increased chance of suffering from coronary heart disease.
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Is It Unhealthy To Sleep During The Day And Be Awake At Night
Sleeping during the day and staying awake at night can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and cause a hormone imbalance. When the production of melatonin, cortisol, and other hormones becomes irregular, normal bodily functions, such as appetite, immune function, and digestion, are also disrupted. Additionally, an erratic sleep-wake schedule can also make it difficult for us to remain alert during the day and sleep naturally at night.
Why Am I Sleeping So Much Causes Of Oversleeping Explained
Sleep experts usually recommend seven to nine hours of sleep to feel adequately refreshed and restored. Without this amount, lethargy and exhaustion will start to impact your daily life. However, its also possible to sleep too much that is, sleeping for more than nine hours regularly. Like sleeping too little, oversleeping can disrupt the bodys natural circadian rhythm, leading to potential health risks. Thats no need to worry, however, as there are many ways to break this cycle of oversleeping. In this guide, well uncover some of the causes of oversleeping to help you determine the root of the problem.
When To Seek Help
Anyone who finds themselves consistently sleeping 10 or more hours per night should see a doctor to determine why they are oversleeping. If oversleeping is the result of drinking too much alcohol or certain medications, cutting back or the elimination of these substances may help.
Of course, if oversleeping is due to the effects of prescription medication, the medication should not be stopped without the approval of a doctor. If oversleeping is caused by a health condition, managing that condition and practicing better sleep habits may help reduce the need to oversleep.
Should I Be Concerned If I Get Excessive Sleep
As you know, a good nights sleep is critical and essential for health. Yet not all instances of excessive sleepiness are cause for worry. Occasional feelings of exhaustion leading to a night or two of excessive sleep are commonplace. Yet, if the feelings of exhaustion are interfering with the quality of your life, you should consider making specific lifestyle changes, or getting tested for certain sleep disorders. .
Thats because sleep disorders can be a potential cause of hypersomnia and impact how you sleep, affecting your overall health, safety, and quality of life. Its common to associate sleep disorders with getting too little sleep, yet sleep apnea and narcolepsy can actually cause hypersomnia or excessive tiredness. Hypersomnia poses serious health risks and is linked to several medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and death.
If youre getting excessive sleep read through the factors that may be contributing to your excessive sleepiness. Some may not be cause for concern and represent temporary sleep behavior alterations, others are more serious.
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Lifestyle Causes Of Tiredness
In today’s 24/7 “always on” world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives.
And to try to stay on top of things, we sometimes consume too much alcohol or caffeine, or eat sugary and high-fat snacks on the go rather than sitting down for a proper meal.
The main lifestyle causes of tiredness include:
Sleeping Well: The Most Important Things You Can Do
Based on our experts advice and current opinions on healthy sleep hygiene practices, here are the key things you can do to promote good sleep habits and ensure your body gets the ideal amount of rest.
Research links eating a balanced diet with a wide variety of nutrients and adequate calories, carbohydrates and fats with normal sleep durations. Inone large studyVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceof diet and lifestyle habits using NHANES data, long sleepers tended to eat less variety of foods and fewer carbohydrates and calories overall. Their diets were also lower than normal sleepers on a few nutrients:
- Theobromine found in chocolate and to a lesser extent in guarana.
- Dodecanoic acid found in coconuts, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil.
- Choline found in shrimp, fish, eggs, turkey, soy and some dark leafy greens.
- Selenium found in brazil nuts, fish, shrimp, turkey, chicken, beef and some whole grains.
- Lycopene found in guava, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, red cabbage, and red peppers.
- Phosphorus found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, eggs, fish, brazil nuts, lean meats, tofu, and lentils.
Try to include a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, and grains so your body receives the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients it needs to function.
Get Consistent Sunlight
Stick to a Regular Bedtime and Wake Time
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How To Stop Oversleeping: 9 Tips
We often hear about the dangers of staying up too late, waking up late, and sleeping too little. While these practices may lead to negative side effects, theres also one other habit that has the potential to make your health decline: oversleeping.
Knowing how to stop oversleeping can change the trajectory of your whole day and your health.
How To Know If Youre Sleeping Too Much
While you may be able to look at a chart to find out how much sleep you need for your age, there are also signs you should keep an eye out for to determine if you might be sleeping too much.
These signs can include memory issues, productivity problems, depression, anxiety, or constant fatigue.If you feel youre eating right and exercising a healthy amount but have these symptoms, its a good idea to adjust your sleep schedule as needed or take a trip to the doctors office for a checkup.
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Oversleeping Causes And The Health Impacts
No one can dispute the restorative value of sleep. Yet, when it comes to the amount of sleep you need, more isnt necessarily better. A growing number of studies have found that oversleeping can actually contribute to many of the same health problems experienced by those who are routinely sleep-deprived.
How much sleep do you actually need? According to research, seven to nine hours of sleep per night is recommended for adults. However, approximately 4% to 6% of individuals worldwide habitually oversleep. This not only contributes to an array of health problems, but according to an analysis of 16 studies, it may also increase the odds of early death. The researchers conducting this review found that, while people sleeping less than five to seven hours a night had a 12% higher risk of premature death, those sleeping more than nine hours per night were 30% more likely to die prematurely from any cause.
Continue reading to learn more about what causes this lesser-known sleep disorder, how oversleeping can affect your health, and tips to help you reset your sleep schedule.
If you routinely sleep for more than nine hours per night, you may be suffering from hypersomnia or excessive sleep disorder.
Oversleeping Causes And Prevention
Insomnia and sleep apnea are not the only sleep disorders people are suffering from, oversleep is also a kind of disorder caused by either some medical conditions or by the environmental factors.
The National Sleep Foundation has reported that sleeping excessively can be the sign of an illness, and if the problem goes unnoticed then it can be very harmful for the health of an individual.
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The Health Impact Of Oversleeping
Seeking to find the sleep sweet spot for optimal health, researchers have been busy recently looking at how different habits connect with physical and mental well-being. Several trends have emerged linking oversleeping with higher rates of mortality and disease as well as things like depression.
Research Links Longer Sleep Habits with:
- Cognitive impairment
- Higher all-cause mortality
Potential Causes Of Oversleeping
Several factors could explain your need to oversleep. Sleep disorders and underlying health conditions can both contribute to sleeping too much, in addition to other causes.
Common sleep disorders that lead to oversleeping include hypersomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. People with hypersomnia experience extreme sleepiness during the day, no matter how long they sleep at night or how frequently they nap.
People with sleep apnea experience temporary lapses in their breathing during sleep. These lapses result in loud snoring, choking, or gasping sounds that can wake them up and disrupt their sleep. Even if the person stays asleep, their sleep quality is reduced, leading to daytime tiredness and a desire to sleep more.
People with narcolepsy can experience sudden episodes of sleepiness during the day, suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, and feel a need to oversleep as a result.
Underlying Health Condition
An underlying health condition, physical or mental, can also contribute to oversleeping. For example, hypothyroidism can lead to higher levels of exhaustion, fatigue, and a need to oversleep. People with hypothyroidism are nearly twice as likely to oversleep.
Sleep problems are also one of the main symptoms of depression. Some people suffer from insomnia and sleeping too little, while others suffer from hypersomnia and oversleeping. As with oversleeping in general, women who have depression are more likely to oversleep than men.
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What Is Sleep Deficit
The amount of time you sleep is like putting money in a bank account. Whenever you dont get enough, its withdrawn and has to be repaid. When youre in chronic sleep debt, youre never able to catch up.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans need about 7.1 hours of sleep per night to feel good, but 73 percent of us fall short of that goal on a regular basis. This is due to many factors, such as school responsibilities, long work hours, and increased use of electronics like smartphones.
Many people think they can make up for their lost sleep on the weekends. However, if you sleep too long on Saturday and Sunday, its difficult to get to bed on time on Sunday night. The deficit then continues into the next week.
Chronically losing sleep has the potential to cause many health problems. It can put you at an increased risk for diabetes, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. You might also have higher levels of cortisol a stress hormone. This can lead to anger, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In addition, drowsiness increases your risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and getting into an accident.
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Is 10 Hours Of Sleep Too Much
How long you should sleep is dependent upon your age and individual health circumstances. 10 hours a night can be a healthy duration for children and teens, but for adults, experts with Johns Hopkins Medicine suggest a minimum of 7 hours a night and that regularly sleeping more than 9 hours is considered too much sleep.
Causes Symptoms And Effects Of Oversleeping
Oversleeping which is also called Hypersomnia means it needs almost 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night to feel good. Sometimes people might be so busy in their life to fulfil the routine responsibilities that taking rest might be much difficult. So these people might feel fatigued during the day and tend to sleep for more than 14-15 hours a day.
An individual may experience hypersomnia if they frequently wake up in the middle of the night. It might not be able to remember all of the night time wakings, nonetheless they can keep them from getting much deep sleep to leave them feeling refreshed.
Hypersomnia characteristically starts in early childhood. If you havent always felt as fatigued as you do now, there might be something wrong which needs to be addressed. Lifestyle factors can act as part of this symptom. If the individual does not get much sleep on a regular basis, the body may try to make up for it by oversleeping.
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Tips For Making Up Lost Sleep
Not everyone needs the same number of hours of sleep per night. Some people need nine or more, and others are fine with six or less. To figure out how much you need, take stock of how you feel the next day after different amounts of sleep.
You can also figure out how much sleep you need by allowing your body to sleep as much as it needs over the course of a few days. Youll then naturally get into your bodys best sleep rhythm, which you can continue after the experiment is over.
Tips for catching up on lost sleep
If you miss getting in enough hours of sleep, here are a few ways you can make it up.
- Take a power nap of about 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Sleep on the weekends, but not more than two hours past the normal time you wake up.
- Sleep more for one or two nights.
- Go to bed a little earlier the next night.
If you experience chronic sleep debt, the above recommendations wont help very much. Instead, youll want to make some long-term changes.
If these steps dont help, or if you experience other sleep issues like narcolepsy or sleep paralysis, talk to your doctor. You may benefit from a sleep study to determine whats wrong.