Why Do I Sleep So Much? 9 Common Reasons for Oversleeping
There can be a plethora of reasons that a person is experiencing excessive sleepiness. It can be because of exhaustion, difficulty in dealing with emotions, overeating or even due to a large number of sleep disorders that severely affect one’s lifestyle.
At the end of the day, everything in the previous sentence is irrelevant and you have to resolve your oversleeping habit by nook or by crook.
The duration of sleep depends on your lifestyle, age, and level of activity.
However rigorous or high any of these factors are, 7-9 hours is the recommended sleep duration.
Now, there are a bunch of sleep disorders such as REM sleep behavior disorder, bruxism, and sleepwalking that are not related to oversleeping but can lead to it if not treated.
Some sleep disorders that promote excessive sleepiness are Hypersomnia, Kleine-Levin Syndrome, Sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy.
6 Major Sleeping Disorders
This is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to stay awake during day time. A person can fall asleep for hours at a stretch at any time, be it during work or traveling.
Another terminology for this kind of disorder is “Excessive Tiredness”.
Hypersomnia backfires due to irregular sleeping hours and all the harm is caused at night when it is actually time to sleep.
One common term would be EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness) and the best remedy for such issues is to visit a doctor.
The doctor will do some basic polysomnographic tests and measure your EEG (Electroencephalogram) activity (brain activity), after which you will be prescribed a required dose of Modafinil (Provigil) or Methylphenidate (Ritalin).
2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This is a common problem in people as they age and it occurs due to overgrowth of tissues in the airway. This overgrowth causes a blockage in the airway when the throat muscles contract or relax, thus restricting smooth passage of air.
Choking, gasping for air or loud abrupt snores can be heard which occurs due to air forcing its way through the extra tissues in the throat.
Because of this entire process, your sleep cycle is frequently interrupted and you crave extra sleep when it is time to wake up.
This leads to incomplete sleep cycles, your body struggling to cope due to unrested organs and thus oversleeping during almost all sleeping sessions.
Narcolepsy is another form of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) that comes with brief episodes of involuntary sleep.
Eventually, due to disrupted sleep cycles, over 80 percent of patients are known to be contracted by Cataplexy too.
Cataplexy leads to a sudden loss of muscle strength and causes increased pain and exhaustion (in spite of the sudden bursts of laughter).
Narcolepsy is a long-term disorder and comes into action during childhood. Thus, over time it becomes hard to stay awake and the body usually gives up, in search of more rest.
You can notice that narcoleptics are never in a “restorative” sleep state, which means their body and mind are not being revitalized even when asleep.
In spite of long sleeping sessions, they wake up disoriented, exhausted and look forward to their next nap.
4. Seasonal Affective Disorder
This is a unique and rare disorder that comes into action pertaining to the season and time of the year.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hits the patient during winter and fall season due to low exposure of sunlight. This less lit atmosphere creates a dull ambiance which leads to social withdrawal, depression, boredom and boils down to sleeping for long durations.
A person would not look forward to waking up and doing any activity because the dull weather does not appeal to their internal self, thus they resort to oversleeping.
The best way to avoid this problem is to purchase automatic lighting systems, that adjust the amount and intensity of light by detecting the illumination on the outsides.
These are a group of selective disruptive sleep disorders that are activated when a person is going through REM sleep cycles.
REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep is a form of sleep where the person’s eyeballs are constantly moving due to either a dream or natural body activity.
Whereas on the contrary, the muscles and body are resting and motionless. This can lead to increased heart rate and breathing.
Some disorders lead to about 60 percent of sleep time being spent in the REM state. This is harmful as the brain remains active and does not get sufficient rest, leading a person wanting for more sleep.
Example – from an ordinary 7-hour sleep cycle, 5 hours were spent in REM state. When the person wakes up after 7 hours, they will feel tired, fatigued and figure that they cannot focus. This is when they resort to grabbing another 5-7 hours of sleep.
6. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
PLMD is an irritating and sleep obstructing problem which occurs due to the rhythmic movement of limbs while asleep.
Insufficient iron, vitamin B12, thyroid functionality, folic acid, and magnesium levels can lead to the rise of PLMD.
This constant movement causes major disturbance throughout the night and leaves the patient wanting more sleep once they are up.
This sleep disorder is very similar to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
3 Common Causes for Oversleeping
Above mentioned were properly classified diseases for which there are authorized and well-researched treatments in the form of surgeries, medications and natural therapies.
Here’re a few common causes that, too, can hinder your sleep cycle & cause oversleeping. The good news is, these things are in your control & you can overcome these issues on your own with proper guidance.
1. Major Alcohol Intake
Alcohol once in the system, slows the brain and impairs hand-eye and brain-body coordination. In order for these effects to wear out, the body needs sufficient time to rest. In cases of heavy drinkers, they would sleep much longer as the body needs to flush extra toxins and purify the bloodstream for proper heart and organ activity.
2. Thyroid Disease
Hyperthyroidism over stimulates the nervous system, making it incredibly hard to fall asleep. But when you have medicines, your thyroid hormones fluctuate and cause you to ask for longer sleep cycles to recover and be 100 percent fit to tackle the next day
3. Gastrointestinal Disorders, Asthma and Metabolic Instabilities
These cause pain and restlessness while you attempt sleeping. Gradually after a few hours of twisting and turning in bed, you fall asleep. But because of that delay in sleeping time, when you wake up in the morning, you are craving to cover up on the lost sleep.
Sufficient sleep is critical to your wellbeing and your capability to perform at work, school and even handle family tasks.
Majority of the time, the issue of excessive sleepiness can be fixed by natural methods such as creating and abiding by a strict schedule or altering your sleeping environment.
If the symptoms exist to no avail, then do make a trip to a sleep specialist and diagnose the issue systematically to study all potential solutions and causes.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drugs; exercise at a fixed time on a daily basis and put in an effort to alter this lifestyle.
You can also make notes as to how long you sleep each night, how long it takes to even get sleep and other such statistics.
February 11, 2020 Sam Bell