Oversleeping: Is It Bad for Your Health?

Oversleeping: Is It Bad for Your Health?

You might have heard about the health implications of not getting enough sleep, but have you thought about the effects of oversleeping? Other people may say that oversleeping is quiet a luxury only people who don’t have to worry about paying bills have to endure. But the truth is it’s not; anyone can suffer from oversleeping as much as anyone can struggle with sleep deprivation.

Like insufficient sleep, oversleeping is a sign of disordered sleep. It may be a sign of an underlying health condition, or it can be your body’s way of saying that you are experiencing poor quality of sleep. Oversleeping can also be an indication of a clinical sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Define Oversleeping

Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping and excessive sleepiness wherein a person has trouble staying awake during the day. People who have hypersomnia can fall asleep anytime, and anywhere; for example, at work or even while they are driving. As such, it can be dangerous to some extent. Below are some of the core symptoms of hypersomnia:

  • In extreme cases, one might sleep soundly at night for 12 hours or more, but still feel the need to nap during the day.
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning even with an alarm
  • Difficulty in going out of bed in the morning and starting the day
  • Grogginess on and off or throughout the day
  • Difficulty in concentrating

How Much Sleep Is Too Much?

There is no single exact amount of sleep that can apply to everyone. Sleep needs depend on several factors, such as a person’s age, lifestyle, genetics, overall health, and even life circumstances. However, most of us, throughout our adulthood, need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

If you are sleeping for more than 9 hours every night, and you are still feeling tired and groggy, that’s an indication that you are oversleeping. If this is the case, you should not delay taking a look at what is causing it.

What Causes Oversleeping?

Oversleeping is associated with a lot of health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Some medications, including:
    • Sedatives
    • Antihistamines
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Tranquilizers
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-anxiety medications
    • Anti-psychotic drugs

Moreover, it can also be linked to a few sleep disorders like narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and obstructive sleep apnea.

Other possible causes include substance abuse, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, epilepsy, and being overweight or obese. Genetic predisposition can also play a role with hypersomnia. If you have family members with this condition, you are more likely to experience oversleeping and daytime tiredness.

What Are the Effects of Excessive Sleeping?

People with hypersomnia may experience the following issues:

  • Low energy
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems

If you don’t have a sleep problem, regular oversleeping may still have negative consequences on your health. Below are some of the complications:

  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Increased inflammation
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Higher risk of stroke
  • Higher mortality rate

How is Hypersomnia Diagnosed?

It’s recommended that you see a doctor if you’ve been oversleeping for more than six weeks. Your doctor will most likely go over your sleep habits, medications, lifestyle habits, and medical history. Once your doctor has ruled out any underlying health condition that is causing you to oversleep, he may recommend the following:

  • Rate your sleepiness on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to have a better understanding as to how sleep is affecting your daily life.
  • Record your sleep habits in a diary.
  • Undergo a polysomnography or sleep study.
  • Take a multiple sleep latency test a day after getting the polysomnogram (test result for polysomnography).

How to Manage Hypersomnia?

If your oversleeping is caused by an underlying health condition, treating the health issue may help you get a normal sleep once again. You can also deal with excessive sleeping by limiting your alcohol intake, avoiding becoming sleep deprived, and being consistent with your effort to have a regular sleep-wake schedule every day.

How to Prevent Oversleeping?

The most common cause of oversleeping is not getting enough sleep the night before or cumulatively during the week. Below are easy steps that you can follow to prevent oversleeping:

  • Get around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Do not oversleep on weekends as this may interrupt your circadian rhythm and increase your chances to oversleep when you go back to work.
  • Expose yourself to sunlight upon awakening as it can help you to wake up and get up on bed.
  • Avoid taking naps after 4 pm as it can make it difficult for you to sleep later at night and result in oversleeping the following day. The same is true with excessive caffeine intake and blue light exposure close to bedtime.

Tips on How to Get a Better Sleep

You can prepare yourself for a good night sleep by doing the following:

  1. Commit to a regular sleep schedule.
  2. Create an environment conducive for sleep and relaxation.
  3. Avoid using your devices two to three hours before bedtime.
  4. Eat healthily, avoid alcohol, and get regular exercise.

In Conclusion

With everything that was mentioned in this article, it is clear that oversleeping is bad for your health. As such, doing every effort to get normal sleep every day is worth it.



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HealthStatus Team

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.

Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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