Why Am I Sleeping So Much?
Rest is important, but how much sleep is too much? The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours a night to be healthy.
It can be concerning if you’ve historically been in that range, and then your sleep habits change, and you find yourself getting much more than you previously did — a condition called hypersomnia. You may wonder if you’re sick or have a disease that has caused the change.
And even if you don’t have those concerns, excessive sleeping can adversely affect your quality of life. Getting enough sleep is essential, but so is not getting too much of it. This article explains the causes of excessive sleep and what happens if you sleep too much.
Potential Causes of Sleeping Too MuchSleep is a complex state that can be affected by many factors. Both sleep quality and the number of hours you get can impact your waking hours positively or negatively. Below are potential answers to the question, “Why do I sleep so much?”
Changes in schedule and activitiesAny significant change in your schedule or daily activities can throw off your sleep routine. Going back to school, starting a new job, or traveling across time zones are examples. Your regular sleep schedule will often return after you adjust to the change.
You may start sleeping too much if you develop a medical issue or an existing problem worsens. This can involve anything that affects your physical or mental health, but some of the more common causes of sleep changes include:
- Hormonal disorders
- Chronic pain
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD
- Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
MedicationSeveral types of medication can have sedative effects (meaning they make you sleepy). These include allergy medications, muscle relaxants, specific antidepressants, and others. If you’ve recently started a new medication, changed your dose, or reached a point where the drug is now having its maximum effect, you may find yourself sleeping too much. If so, you should talk with your doctor about modifying your medication regimen.
What Happens When I Sleep Too Much?
While sleep is necessary, too much of a good thing is never a good thing! Excessive sleep can adversely affect your quality of life by causing you to miss out on activities you enjoy and straining your relationships. It can also have the counterintuitive effect of making you feel more tired when awake.
For some people, sleeping too much also causes, worsens, or increases the risk of various physical health problems, including:
- Coronary heart disease
Sleeping too much can be worse for your health than not sleeping enough. Consequently, if you start sleeping more than you used to, you should contact your doctor. They can talk with you about any changes in your life or health and do a physical exam to help determine the cause of your hypersomnia.
Talk with the Sleep Experts at Baptist Health
If your primary care physician can’t determine the cause of your excessive sleeping, they may refer you to the sleep experts at Baptist Health. They can collaborate with your doctor to pinpoint the problem and devise a treatment plan that gets you back to your regular sleep routine.