Oversleeping can be harmful to your health.
The same goes with sleep. The amount of sleep we need differs from person to person and changes over the course of a lifetime, but experts recommend between 7 and 9 hours a night. If you are sleeping too much, it is important to examine the underlying causes for this behaviour, even to have an oversleeping treatment. Speaking to a psychologist will help you understand the roots of this behaviour and guide you to taking steps to recover.
There may be a range of medical, psychological or environmental causes for oversleeping. These include sleep apnoea, stress, depression, and drug or alcohol addiction. Oversleeping may lead to fatigue, headache and depression. Studies have linked oversleeping with an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
We all oversleep from time to time, and when we do, the entire day can be a miserable undertaking. From missed meetings and lost time with family to the stress of trying to plod through the day exhausted, oversleeping is no laughing matter.
Three Seas Counselling can help you determine why you’re oversleeping then offer you practical skills to get your sleep back on a healthier cycle.
What is Oversleeping?
Oversleeping every now and again is normal, especially when you stay up late, are sick, or just don’t want to face the chaos and stress of the day. For some people, though, sleeping too long crosses the line from a periodic inconvenience to a daily occurrence. Some symptoms of oversleeping include:
- Sleeping longer than 10 hours on many or most nights.
- Taking frequent naps throughout the day.
- Feeling tired no matter how much sleep you’ve gotten.
- Using sleep to avoid emotional pain.
- Sleeping poorly when you do sleep, or sleeping so deeply that you don’t dream or don’t remember sleeping.
You don’t have to suffer with oversleeping forever. You’re not lazy and this is not your fault. But the problem is unlikely to get better without treatment. Oversleeping is a type of sleep disorder, making it no different from other health conditions such as diabetes or chronic pain. Just as these conditions demand treatment, so too does chronic oversleeping.
What Causes You to Sleep Too Much?
Poor Sleep Habits
There’s no single cause of oversleeping. In some cases, it’s a simple matter of poor sleep habits. If you don’t maintain a regular sleeping schedule, rely on naps to get enough sleep, or are so chronically stressed that you can never feel well-rested, oversleeping may be the result.
Depression is notorious for its ability to turn normal people into virtual zombies. If you suffer from depression, you may find yourself chronically tired, probably because your emotions are so overwhelming that they exhaust you. Some people with depression also rely on sleep as a coping mechanism. Life is too painful to stay awake for, so they just sleep through it. Some other mental illnesses can produce similar barriers to healthy sleep.
In some cases, oversleeping may be caused by physical illnesses. For this reason, Three Seas always consults with a physician before making a diagnosis or entering into a treatment plan. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism, some adrenal system disorders, and a handful of autoimmune diseases can all disrupt your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling chronically exhausted. If you suffer from a physical ailment or a mental illness, your oversleeping is unlikely to improve without treatment.
How Can I Treat Oversleeping?
The path to a good night’s sleep that doesn’t overtake your entire day is heavily dependent on the reasons for your oversleeping. When you seek counselling at Three Seas, we’ll gather all the information we can about your symptoms. We’ll explore when they began, what makes them better or worse, how you eat, and how you live. This information helps us develop a well-informed hypothesis about why you sleep so much.
From there, we’ll work with you to establish a healthier lifestyle that can help you feel well-rested, productive, and healthy. Our regimen may include therapy, lifestyle changes, or medication, depending on your needs. Ultimately, though, treatment is in your hands. We offer protocols that respect your values and desires, and if you’d like to try to avoid medication, we can certainly accommodate that request. Don’t struggle with oversleeping any longer than you have to. We can help!
Call today to talk to a Three Seas Psychologist.