How much sleep do you need?
Oversleeping: You’ve undoubtedly heard that getting a good night’s sleep is important. Failure to do so will place you in “sleep debt,” which may lead to a variety of symptoms and health problems.
How much sleep should you get every night? Sleep requirements are mostly determined by age, but they are also unique to each person. Pregnancy, age, sleep deprivation, and sleep quality may all have an impact on your sleep demands. If you don’t get enough sleep, you should think about making some lifestyle modifications. If it doesn’t work, you should consult with your doctor.
You should also notify your doctor if you are sleeping excessively. There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Excessive drowsiness may be an indication of a variety of medical problems. Oversleeping may also be harmful to one’s health.
Here are the current guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation:
|age||hours of sleep per day|
|newborn baby||14 – 17 hours (includes naps)|
|infants||12 – 15 hours (includes naps)|
|toddlers||11 – 14 hours (includes naps)|
|preschool-age children||10 – 13 hours|
|school-age children||9 – 11 hours|
|teenagers||8 – 10 hours|
|adults||7 – 9 hours|
|seniors||7 – 8 hours|
Possible causes of oversleeping
Oversleeping is referred to as hypersomnia, or “extended sleeping.” This disorder affects around 2% of the population. People suffering from hypersomnia may need as much as 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night to feel their best. Long sleepers may feel extremely fatigued throughout the day and catch up on off days, sleeping as much as 15 hours at a time, since day-to-day living may contain duties that do not allow for this much rest.
If you often wake up in the middle of the night, you may have hypersomnia. You may not recall all of your overnight awakenings, but they might prevent you from receiving enough deep sleep to feel refreshed. Hypersomnia usually begins in infancy. Something else could be going on if you haven’t always felt as exhausted as you do now. Aspects of one’s lifestyle may have a role. If you don’t get enough sleep on a consistent basis, your body may attempt to compensate by oversleeping.
There are also a variety of medical disorders that may lead you to oversleep, including:
- thyroid issues
- heart disease
- sleep apnea
- certain medications
For people with hypersomnia, oversleeping may cause the following issues:
- low energy
- memory problems
Even if you don’t have a sleep issue, habitually oversleeping might be harmful to your health. Some potential difficulties include:
- back pain
- heart disease
- increased risk of death
Oversleepers may also be more likely to be involved in auto accidents. If you’ve been feeling drowsy, use extreme care while operating heavy machinery.
How is oversleeping diagnosed?
If your drowsiness symptoms linger longer than six weeks, you should see your doctor. During your session, your doctor will most likely ask you about your sleeping and lifestyle habits, medicines, and medical history. You may also be subjected to a physical examination and possibly a sleep study.
If your oversleeping is not caused by any medical problem, your doctor may suggest the following:
- Use the Epworth Daytime sleepiness Scale to assess your level of sleepiness. You will rate your tiredness to assist your doctor in understanding how sleep affects your daily life.
- Keep a sleep record. You’ll keep track of your sleeping habits, such as when you go to bed, when you wake up, and how often you wake up, so your doctor can search for sleep quantities and patterns. Before consulting your doctor, keep a sleep diary for a week.
- Perform a polysomnogram. You’ll spend the night in a sleep center connected to a monitor that will track your brain activity, eye movement, leg movement, heart rate, and other factors.
- Perform a sleep latency test on many occasions. This test is often performed the day after a polysomnogram. It monitors your sleep patterns when you slumber throughout the day.
If your oversleeping is caused by an underlying health problem, fixing the problem may help you sleep regularly again. Making lifestyle modifications to improve bad sleeping patterns may also be beneficial.
Also, ask your doctor if there are any drugs that might help you. Modafinil (Provigil), for example, is a medication that promotes wakefulness. This medicine was demonstrated to enhance driving performance and alertness in a study of patients with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia.
5 tips for better sleep
Set the setting for a restful night’s sleep by implementing the following suggestions:
1. Try a sleep schedule
Every day, including on weekends, go to bed and wake up at the same hour. When you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, your body learns to anticipate sleep at that time. You may gradually get into a routine that allows you to sleep more effortlessly.
2. Create an ideal sleep environment
Being at ease will assist your body in falling asleep. Ascertain that your bedroom is cool, dark, and silent. You may wish to use drapes to darken the space. Distractions may be reduced by using earplugs or a white-noise machine.
Try to keep the number of dogs or children in your bed to a minimum, and avoid falling asleep with the television on, even if the volume is turned off. Also, if your pillow or mattress is causing you discomfort, consider replacing it.
3. Power down your devices
Blue light is emitted by computer and phone displays. This kind of light may interrupt your body’s normal circadian cycle and impair your sleep at night. Turn off your gadgets and minimize your exposure to blue light two to three hours before going to bed.
4. Mind your lifestyle habits
Taking care of yourself throughout the day can help you sleep better at night. Consider the items you ingest. Caffeine might make you irritable if ingested too close to sleep. Although alcohol might make you tired, it actually reduces the quality of your sleep. Herbal tea or warm milk are preferable alternatives. Exercise is healthy for your body, but doing it immediately before bedtime may interfere with your sleep.
5. Keep a sleep diary
If you’re worried about your sleep, write about it. Include everything and everything about your normal habits and routine that you want to show the doctor. Make a note of how much you sleep each night, how long it takes you to fall asleep, whether you nap during the day and anything else connected to the sleep that you believe is significant.