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Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

What is quality sleeping?

The optimal amount of sleep for most adults typically falls between 7 to 9 hours per night, leaving them feeling their best.

Insufficient quality sleep at night may lead to oversleeping, while consistently sleeping too long could signal an underlying health issue. When you regularly sleep more than 10 hours per day, it’s termed “long sleeping” or oversleeping.

While concerns often revolve around inadequate sleep, oversleeping can also carry health risks and point to underlying health problems.

Read on to discover more about the potential causes, symptoms, and treatments for oversleeping.

Determining your sleep needs

The amount of sleep necessary varies depending on factors like age and lifestyle.

Quality sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. It encompasses several factors that contribute to a restful and rejuvenating night’s rest. Firstly, creating an optimal sleep environment plays a significant role. This includes regulating the room temperature, minimizing noise, and ensuring darkness, all of which can promote uninterrupted sleep. Secondly, practicing good sleep hygiene is essential. Consistent bedtime routines, such as winding down before bed and avoiding stimulating activities like screen time, help signal to the body that it’s time to sleep. Thirdly, the architecture of sleep is vital for quality rest. Achieving the right balance of sleep stages, including deep sleep and REM sleep, ensures that the body and mind undergo necessary restorative processes during the night.

Furthermore, aligning sleep patterns with the body’s natural circadian rhythms promotes optimal sleep quality. This involves maintaining regular sleep-wake cycles, which can help regulate hormones and improve overall sleep consistency. Physical comfort also plays a crucial role in quality sleep. Using a comfortable mattress and pillows that provide adequate support can prevent discomfort and reduce disturbances during the night. Moreover, managing stress through relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can promote deeper and more restful sleep.

Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine contributes to better sleep quality. A healthy lifestyle supports optimal sleep patterns and overall physical health.

Sleep recommendation

Here are the National Sleep Foundation’s current recommendations:

Age Hours of Sleep per Day
0–3 months 14–17 hours (including naps)
4–11 months 12–15 hours (including naps)
1–2 years 11–14 hours (including naps)
3–5 years 10–13 hours
6–13 years 9–11 hours
14–17 years 8–10 hours
18–64 years 7–9 hours
65 years and older 7–8 hours

Understanding oversleeping

Oversleeping might occur when trying to make up for lost sleep within a short period, known as sleep debt. For instance, sleeping more than 10 hours in a day on weekends due to staying up late during the week for studying.

However, chronic oversleeping could indicate underlying health conditions such as idiopathic hypersomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder, or depression. Additionally, certain medications or substances like sedatives, opioids, or alcohol can contribute to excessive sleepiness and oversleeping. Furthermore, head injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries, have been associated with hypersomnia in a significant percentage of cases.

However, frequent oversleeping could suggest hypersomnia, characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and extended sleep durations, even up to 18 hours daily or multiple naps throughout the day.

Potential causes of oversleeping

Various conditions may contribute to oversleeping, including:

  • Idiopathic hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder
  • Parasomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression

Medications and substances like sedatives, opioids, or alcohol can also induce oversleeping.

Potential symptoms and complications

Symptoms of oversleeping may vary but can include agitation, fatigue, and increased daytime napping. Complications can range from temporary issues like anxiety to more severe conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosing oversleeping involves medical history inquiries and possibly tests like polysomnography.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may include lifestyle adjustments, cognitive-behavioural therapy, or medication such as modafinil.

If you regularly oversleep and experience persistent fatigue, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable to determine the best course of action.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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