Even though sleep is one of the most important things your body needs, it is possible for you to sleep too much. There are many side effects of too much sleep and oversleeping has also been linked to a host of medical problems.
One thing you may ask your self is what causes too much sleep? One of these causes may be hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a disorder where one has excessive daytime or night time sleep. It has been said by some that suffer from it to sometimes cause depression, uremia, or even fibromyalgia. Another disorder which causes excessive daytime sleep is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a disease where one cannot control their falling asleep. This disorder often makes it hard to go about normal life activities such as schooling or work.
Strangely enough, sleeping too much can actually leave you feeling excessively tired and groggy. There was even a movie made about the side effects of too much sleep but does not help with the problem unless you need to laugh a little. One would think that getting lots of sleep would leave one wide awake and active, but unfortunately this isn’t how the body functions.
Even in the official term for this problem, ‘Hypersomnia’, (defined as sleeping entirely too much), the first part of the word ‘Hyper’ means ‘over’, ‘beyond’, ‘excessive’ and would certainly reflect an indication that there must be side effects of too much sleep that is outside the normal bounds. I used to have this very problem and sometimes sleep for12-14 hours straight. I would wake up for a while but didn’t want to get up so I would drift right back into a nice sleep. It has been determined that 7.5 hours is the optomimum amount of sleep for adults and because of some research anything much over that can be very harmful.
In my case I would not only sleep a long time but would also catch myself wanting to sleep during the day or even more than once a day. If you encountered me in one of the times when i was sleeping too much you would see the effects upclose and personal. I often was irritable, fatigued, anxious and overall just kind of nervious. I did not experience all reported side effects but I know that some people experience memory loss and trouble with their appetite too. It is not totally unheard of for some smaller percentage to even experience hallucinations but again mine never went that far, thank goodness. I would say that my biggest or most prevelant side effect of too much sleep was that I just didn’t want to be around or deal with people.
Here is a really non-medical list of the side effects a person might experience with Hypersomnia that I have assembled from reading and conversations:
Side Effects of Too Much Sleep
- Being tired
- Poor Blood Circulation
- Eye Bags
- Lower Metabolism
- Waking Dreams
- Skin and Systemic Problems
- Digestion Issues
- Weight Gain or Obesity
- Back Pain
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Appetite issues
- Sore Joints
- Low energy
- Memory loss
- Increased mortality
These are not from some official website or publication, they are just some of the things that I have either experienced and or have heard mentioned as side effects of too much sleep in my reading, in my life or in conversations on and offline. If you look the list over it is a fairly long list of serious side effects and you need to really pay attention if you are sleeping too much.
Here are a couple of suggestions on how to stop oversleeping besides getting professional help which would be my first and best advice. Did you hear that? Go get some help but in the mean time try these things that I found did helped to some degree but really… get professional help! The only way these suggestions may help is if you really don’t have much of a problem and you are just kind of lazy or your case is really mild. Did you get the hint I want you to seek help if you have a problem with sleeping too much? OK, glad you got it. Now here are those suggestions:
1. Choose to get up and moving
This may seem like a very simple solution, but many people often justify their oversleeping by saying things such as: “I need more sleep than most people”, “an extra 30 minutes in bed won’t hurt”, or “It’s okay to have a lazy day every once in a while.” Don’t let yourself make excuses. Give yourself a reason to get up the moment you wake up.
2. Gradually reduce the amount of sleep you get
If you find yourself getting 11 hours of sleep a night, gradually cut back to 8 hours. Don’t expect a change overnight. To gradually change your habits, try setting your alarm to wake you 10 minutes early the first week. Once your body is used to the change set your alarm another 10 minutes early. You may find that your body will accept easing into your new sleep pattern, thus lessening the chance of getting too much sleep.
If you find yourself suffering from the side effects of too much sleep be sure to speak with your doctor for possible solutions and treatment before trying out anything for yourself. It is never a wise idea to self-medicate when there may be a serious problem that needs medical attention.