Like eating, drinking and exercising, sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. However, like anything else in life, the optimal amount of sleep requires achieving the proper balance.
The recommended sleep duration for the average adult is 7-8 hours. It should be noted that this varies from person-to-person and age is a major factor as well. If a person needs more than 8-9 hours of sleep regularly, then there is a possibility that there might be something wrong. Long-term oversleeping has been known to lead to complications that can cause disorders such as increased risk of heart disease and diabetes but also of obesity, strokes, and cognitive impairments.
Reasons for Oversleeping:
- Sleep Disorders: Sleep apnea, narcolepsy and hypersomnia are among some sleep disorders that can cause excessive sleepiness. They can seriously disrupt your sleep pattern.
- Depression/Anxiety: Certain mood and personality disorders such as depression and anxiety can also affect you in a way that you begin to require excessive amounts of sleep.
- Substance Use: Certains substances such as alcohol and some prescription medications can cause excessive sleepiness.
- Obesity: This is an example of a disorder that can be both caused by excessive oversleeping and perpetuate it as well. Obesity can lead to sleep apnea as well as cause excessive tiredness. This increases the likelihood that a person will be less mobile and therefore sleep more frequently.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to momentarily stop breathing during sleep. Because it disrupts the normal sleep cycle, it can lead to an increased need for sleep.
Consequences of Sleeping Too Much
We often talk about the causes of sleeping too little. But is too much sleep bad for you too? The answer may surprise you.
Headaches: Sleeping longer can, for some people, cause headaches. This may be due to the effect oversleeping has on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin.
Obesity: Oversleeping can lead to weight gain. One study showed that people who slept 9-10 hours a night were 21% more likely to become obese over a 6-year period than thos who slept 7-8 hours a night.
Depression: Although depression is more commonly linked to lack of sleep, 15% of people with depression sleep too much. Poor sleep habits and irregular sleep can make depression worse.
Tips for How to Sleep Better:
Unless there is a serious disorder affecting your health, oversleeping can be fixed in a simple manner. A lot of the tips are preventative measures that make sure you know you’re getting good quality sleep so that you feel completely refreshed the next morning. Here are some tips we have collected to help fix your diminishing energy.
- Create a sleep schedule: A sleep schedule can go a long way in balancing your sleep patterns. It is important to have consistent sleep and wake times. Not only can this allow you to get the proper amount of sleep but can also improve the quality of your sleep since your body will become accustomed to the consistency. If you regularly get consistent amounts of proper sleep, then daytime tiredness and sleepiness will not be a problem.
- Sleep vitamins/supplements: Sleep supplements such as melatonin, 5-HTP and GABA are amongst some of the best natural sleep aids to help you get proper sleep. These induce drowsiness to guarantee uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. These are often prescribed to those going through various disorders that may impair sleep patterns. It is recommended that you follow your healthcare provider’s advice when purchasing these supplements.
- Professional help: If you are having trouble in life due to a disorder such as sleep apnea, depression, diabetes, hypersomnia, seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Oftentimes, professional clinical tools (such as the polysomnogram) can aid in regulating our sleep patterns.
With routines dominated by continuous streams of stimulation in today’s digital age, we often don’t realize that our smallest decisions can have negative long-term consequences. It has become quite common for us to not take our sleep schedules seriously and this does have an eventual effect on the quality of our overall lives. Making an informed decision about our own lives and taking responsibility for balance is a worthy goal that leads to many health benefits. Here at Can-i Wellness, we support your health and wellness journey.