Some people occasionally catch more snooze than usual in the morning and suddenly run late for their daily routines. However, habitual oversleeping is a common phenomenon associated with many misconceptions. People are often quick to judge, not knowing that the behavior could be an underlying health condition like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, etc.
Finding yourself oversleeping despite taking measures to avoid the habit could signal a condition requiring resolution. Establishing the underlying cause of too much slumber is the first step to correcting the problem. Some common areas of concern include:
1. Medical Concerns
Hypersomnia is a clinical term that means excessive sleeping beyond the recommended 7 to 9 hours. The condition can result from specific medical ailments that could be unknown to you. If you suffer from persistent oversleeping, you should test for diabetes and heart diseases. In extreme circumstances, hypersomnia can be fatal, requiring early diagnosis.
Excessive sleepiness could also be a neurological disorder. Such malfunctions interfere with the regular operations of the brain responsible for regulating sleep patterns. The condition is associated with daytime sleepiness and hallucinations that can take a toll on your life.
People suffering from sleep disorders have sleep attacks where they suddenly doze off during their routine activities. The condition is life-threatening when one is driving or operating machinery susceptible to accidents. You must get a diagnosis if you suspect you could be suffering from the ailment to manage it.
2. Body Type
Your body type can determine your sleep patterns. Active people typically need more rest and sleep for longer than those with sedentary lifestyles. However, oversleeping can also lead to particular body conditions, i.e., the more you sleep, the higher the likelihood of obesity. In such cases, you can overcome the pitfalls of oversleeping by setting a consistent sleeping pattern–sleeping and waking up at the same time every day.
Genetics also has a role to play in sleeping patterns. Some sleeping disorders or normal sleeping tendencies are hereditary, and it could be that your condition trickled down generations. It is still possible to train your system to adopt consistent sleeping schedules to control the adverse effects of oversleeping.
3. Mental Health
Sleeping disorders and mental health affect each other and can lead to insomnia or hypersomnia. Mental conditions associated with sleep disorders include depression, bipolar, anxiety attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. Sleeping disorders cause mental diseases, and the ailments can deteriorate because of abnormal sleep patterns.
Balanced sleep patterns are critical for mental health. When you get sufficient REM sleep, the brain processes sufficient emotional information. Sleep is especially essential if you need to internalize traumatic events. Extreme sleep habits (over and undersleeping) interfere with such a process and take a toll on your mental health.
If you have existing mental conditions, oversleeping exacerbates them. The abnormal sleep pattern may also become an additional source of worry that increases anxiety. If you suspect you have a mental disorder, have a professional assessment to get a diagnosis. Knowing the root cause of the condition will help you to avoid the triggers and improve your mental health.
4. Environmental Factors
Your environment and how you feel in it influence the tendency to oversleep. Sleep environment characteristics that can interfere with slumber include room temperature, light, bedding, etc. Assess your bedroom for any sleep disturbances and take corrective measures.
Sometimes it takes a modest step of changing your bedding or mattress to resume a regular sleeping pattern. Get mattress reviews from users of particular brands to affirm your choice of appropriate bedding implements. You may also need to change your curtains to let in the morning light that triggers your senses to wake up at a particular time.
Your sleeping environment should evoke positive emotions to promote peaceful slumber. You can change the bedroom arrangement of furniture or, if possible, replace them if they cause unease when sleeping.
5. Repressed Stress
You may have had a traumatic experience in the past that you did not deal with and subconsciously blank it out. However, the events remain in the brain without processing. The aftermath is psychological or physical symptoms affecting regular body functions like sleep. Repressed stress can lead to oversleeping, which is part of avoidance behavior.
To overcome the oversleeping disorder caused by suppressed emotions, identify a confidante or a professional to share past unpleasant experiences. To avoid repressed stress, air out emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, etc., to prevent them from interfering with your sleep patterns in the future.
Know Why You are Oversleeping
To resolve the oversleeping habit, you need to know its root cause. Avoid falling prey to misconceptions and downplaying the severity of the condition. The disorder is like any other ailment that needs treatment. After identifying the underlying issues, you should be on your way to regular sleep patterns.