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What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

Regularly obtaining quality sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health, but if you consistently oversleep, it may indicate an underlying health issue.

How much sleep do you need?

What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

Sleep debt, a condition where individuals lack sufficient sleep, can lead to various health issues and symptoms. Sleep quality and needs vary based on age, pregnancy, aging, sleep deprivation, and individual factors. If you’re getting too little sleep, lifestyle changes may be helpful, but if not, consult your doctor. Excessive sleepiness can indicate various medical issues and even health risks. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy sleep schedule to prevent sleep deprivation and maintain good sleep quality. In summary, a healthy sleep routine is crucial for overall health and well-being.

Sleep guidelines

The National Sleep Foundation provides current guidelines on sleep.

agehours of sleep per day
newborn baby14 – 17 hours (includes naps)
infants12 – 15 hours (includes naps)
toddlers11 – 14 hours (includes naps)
preschool-age children10 – 13 hours
school-age children9 – 11 hours
teenagers8 – 10 hours
adults7 – 9 hours
seniors7 – 8 hours

Possible causes of oversleeping

What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

Hypersomnia, or long sleeping, is a condition affecting about 2% of people, requiring 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night to feel their best. This can lead to excessive daytime tiredness and oversleeping, as long sleepers may wake up in the middle of the night. Lifestyle factors can also play a role in hypersomnia, as the body may try to compensate for lack of sleep by oversleeping. Hypersomnia typically starts in childhood and can be triggered by lifestyle factors, such as not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

Oversleeping can be a result of various health conditions, including:

  • thyroid issues
  • heart disease
  • sleep apnea
  • depression
  • narcolepsy
  • certain medication

Complications

Oversleeping can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to various health issues, particularly in individuals with hypersomnia.

  • anxiety
  • low energy
  • memory problems

Regular oversleeping can have a negative impact on sleep, potentially leading to a sleep disorder.

  • headaches
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • back pain
  • depression
  • heart disease
  • increased risk of death

People who are oversleep may be at a higher risk of auto accidents, so it’s crucial to exercise caution when operating heavy equipment.

How is oversleeping diagnosed?

What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

A doctor may conduct a sleep study, physical exam, and physical exam to assess a patient’s health history, lifestyle habits, and sleep patterns. If sleepiness persists beyond six weeks, the doctor may recommend addressing other medical conditions, such as medication, to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

A doctor can assess your sleepiness by using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to understand how sleep affects your everyday life. A sleep diary can help track sleep habits, such as falling asleep and waking up, for a week before a visit. A polysomnogram, which measures brain activity, eye movement, leg movement, and heart rate, can also be used to monitor sleep patterns. A multiple sleep latency test, typically done the day after a polysomnogram, measures sleep as you nap during the day.

5 tips for better sleep

What You Should Know About Oversleeping, Plus 5 Tips for Better Sleep

The text provides tips to help prepare for a good night’s sleep.

1. Try a sleep schedule

Ensure consistent sleep and wake time throughout the day, even on weekends, to prepare your body for sleep and eventually establish a rhythm that makes sleep more easily. This routine helps you sleep more effectively and maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

2. Create an ideal sleep environment

Using a white-noise machine, earplugs, and a comfortable pillow or mattress can help improve sleep quality. Darken the room with curtains and use earplugs to drown out distractions. Limit pets or children in bed and avoid watching TV while sleeping. Consider switching pillows or mattresses if uncomfortable. Check out our market for expert-verified pillow and mattress recommendations.

3. Power down your devices

Disrupting sleep can be caused by the exposure to blue light, a type of light emitted by computer and phone screens, which can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm, requiring careful measures to minimize exposure.

4. Mind your lifestyle habits

Sleep worse may be caused by factors such as caffeine, alcohol, and exercise. Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can wind you up, while alcohol can make you sleepy. Herbal tea or warm milk are better substitutes. Exercise before bedtime may disrupt sleep quality.

5. Keep a sleep diary

Write about your sleep concerns, including your usual habits and routine. Record how long you sleep each night, how long it takes to fall asleep, if you nap during the day, and any other important details related to your rest. This will help you show your doctor.

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