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The Effects of Oversleeping

Few things are quite as pleasant as waking up after a good nightly rest. And yet, sleep problems seem to be on the rise all over the world. Sleep problems affect millions of people of all ages, and the most common problems include difficulties falling asleep, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and circadian disorders (those that affect our internal body clock).

Sleep apnea is another common disorder that can interfere with your ability to get a good rest at night. This disorder affects approximately a quarter of all adults, and is more prevalent in people over the age of 40.

Moreover, it’s believed that millions of people suffer from sleep apnea but their condition goes undiagnosed. Because their breathing stops and they wake up several time every night, people with sleep apnea also experience a disruption to their basic functioning during the day.

Another common disorder is oversleeping. Oversleeping every now and then is not a problem. In fact, a survey found that more than half of people interviewed oversleep at least once a week. Snoozing the alarm occasionally may be just what you need to wake up feeling fresh, but when this happens frequently, it can become a disorder.

How Much Sleep Does Your Body Need?

So what counts as oversleeping? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, since how much rest we need every night depends on a number of factors. Age is particularly important in this context, and the number of hours that we need every night decreases as we get older. Official age-based recommendations are 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, 7 to 9 hours for adults, and 7 or 8 hours for adults aged 65 and over.

If you’re an adult, it’s not recommended that you get less than 6 hours every night, or less than 5 if you belong to the older adult group. At the same time, you shouldn’t be getting too many hours of rest every night. Upper limits for teenagers and young adults are no more than 11 hours per night, no more than 10 for adults, and no more than 9 for adults aged 65 and over.

Other factors that determine how many hours of rest per night we need include existing health issues (such as diabetes or obesity). It’s also important to consider how you feel during the day to find out if you’re getting enough rest. Dependence on caffeine or stimulants, feeling sluggish during the day or when driving are clear indicators that you are not getting enough hours. But interestingly enough, you can experience the same sluggishness if you overdo your night rest.

So Why Do People Oversleep?

Oversleeping (also know as hypersomnia) has two causes:

  • Health status and medical conditions: For example, people who have thyroid conditions, heart disease, depression, and some neurological diseases are more likely to have hypersomnia. The same applies to people who suffer from apnea and narcolepsy (falling asleep during the day), and those with seasonal affective disorder.
  • Lifestyle and habits: These are mainly linked to drug and alcohol abuse, and to the use of medication to fall or to stay asleep. Other reasons are some prescription drugs (like tranquilizers and anti-depressants) and certain over-the-counter medicines like antihistamines and others that may cause drowsiness.

The Risks Of Oversleeping

Sleeping too much can be just as harmful for your health as sleeping too little. If it’s not treated, hypersomnia can give rise to a range of health conditions, including those that are considered risk factors for oversleeping. In addition to weight gain, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, hypersomnia can also cause or worsen back pain and inflammatory diseases. Other studies found that oversleeping is a risk factor for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Moreover, this condition has an adverse effect on cognitive functioning. People who oversleep more likely to experience poor memory and concentration. There are also physical side effects, which include fatigue, low energy, and headaches upon waking up or during the day. And there’s an established link between hypersomnia, depression, and mood disorders.

What To Do About It

The most important thing is to find out what is causing hypersomnia. To do that, you may need to talk to your doctor. Meanwhile, you can make some lifestyle changes that will help you regulate your body clock. Some recommendations include:

  • Having a consistent rest schedule: go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and that includes weekends or days off. Also, avoid napping after 4 p.m.
  • Ensure the bedroom lighting is right: exposure to bright light in the morning can make you feel more alert, so consider leaving blinds and curtains open at night.
  • Reconsider the use of electronics at night so you’re not exposed to blue light.
  • Limit or reduce alcohol intake before bed.

Do You Have Sleep Problems?

If you struggle with sleep, it’s time to get answers. Sleep is too important to your health to be ignored.

For many people, the sleep problem is undiagnosed. Yet every day, they struggle to stay awake at work, even drift off while driving. They sleep, but its not refreshing, restorative sleep that the body needs. Does this sound familiar?

You may suffer from sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that affects millions of people. Many are undiagnosed, so they don’t get the treatment that will help.

With treatment, you can enjoy the wonderful night’s sleep that you have longed for. You’ll feel so much better during the day, more productive, less tense, less stressed-out. Life is better when you sleep well.

Talking with a sleep specialist is the first step to help you enjoy a more restful sleep. Contact us at SleepQuest now to start the journey. No-one’s ever regretted getting a good night’s sleep.

Either call us: 1-844-477-6398 or email: inquire@sleepquest.com

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