It’s called hypersomnia and it’s what doctors call sleeping too much. Sleeping too much – just like sleeping too little – can cause sleep problems. Here are 8 things to know about how your sleep habits affect your health.
1. Hypersomnia is when oversleeping is a medical disorder. It can cause a person to be sleepy throughout the day and sleeping longer than normal at night. Two factors – depression and low socioeconomic status – are often associated with hypersomnia and might be the reason that disease and health problems are linked with oversleeping. Typically, adults should sleep between seven and nine hours each night.
2. Sleep Apnea is often thought of as disturbing sleep and making someone sleep deprived. However, it can also lead to an increased need for sleep by disrupting the normal sleep cycle which can lead to oversleeping. Either way, if you have think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you should discuss it with a doctor.
3. Diabetes is associated with both sleeping too little and sleeping too much. Getting the correct amount of restful, restorative sleep is definitely a plus for keeping you healthy.
4. Obesity may be related to oversleeping. One study showed that women who slept nine to 10 hours each night were 21% more likely to gain enough weight over a 6-year period and become obese than women who sleep from seven to eight hours.
5. Headaches can result from changing your sleep pattern. For example, if you sleep longer than normal on a weekend or a vacation and you’re headache prone, you may experience one. It’s thought that oversleeping has an effect on neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. This can also be true of people who nap enough so it disturbs their nighttime sleep.
6. Back Pain is not treated by bed rest anymore. In fact, your doctor may recommend that you don’t even cut back your exercise program. Know what your doctor suggests and don’t let back pain lead to oversleeping.
7. Depression can have a negative effect on your sleep by either causing you to lie awake and not get needed sleep or pull up the covers and sleep too much. About 15% of those who suffer from depression sleep too much which could hamper their recovery.
8. See a Doctor. If you’re having problems with sleeping too much or sleeping too little to the point where it has a negative effect on your life and your health, get help. Definitely, never stop taking a prescribed medication without consulting with your doctor if you think it may be causing you to sleep too little or too much. Sleep is important enough so that if you have a chronic problem, you should seek help.
If you want to improve your sleep, be sure you’re doing your part. Limit caffeine. Turn off all those different screen an hour or so before bedtime. Try to establish a consistent time of sleeping and waking. Make sure your bedroom is conductive to a good night’s sleep. If you don’t have one, invest in a comfortable, supportive mattress. You can even find one online! Keep the room cool and dark. Find your best schedule to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night – not too little and not too much.