How to Recover From Sleeping Too Much: 10 Helpful Tips
For many people, a long night of uninterrupted sleep sounds luxurious. But sometimes, sleeping for too long can cause problems, and you might find that you’re still tired when you wake up. If you think you’ve been oversleeping, it’s helpful to understand what could be causing it.
Adults usually need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night
Oversleeping is usually a symptom of a separate (but connected) condition
Sleep space upgrades like blackout curtains or weighted blankets can help limit the amount of times you wake up during the night
Did you know?
Cleaning your bedding regularly can help you sleep better
People tend to spend a lot of time worrying about not getting enough sleep. With busy schedules and early commitments, the biggest challenge is often making enough time to sleep in the first place.
But what if you find yourself oversleeping? Can too much sleep make you tired?
Oversleeping all by itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a symptom of a bigger sleep-related issue — especially if it’s happening every night. Here are a few steps you can take to find out why you’re sleeping so much.
1. Talk To Your Doctor
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but as with any health-related issue, consulting a medical professional is a good first step!
Sleeping long hours is only one symptom of hypersomnia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this condition can also cause you to fall asleep frequently during the day, experience decreased energy, and even cause hallucinations.
There are lots of different factors that can cause hypersomnia. In some cases, what causes oversleeping is a mixture of other medical conditions like depression or sleep apnea. In other cases, hypersomnia is a condition on its own.
Talking to a healthcare professional is the best way to find out how to stop oversleeping.
2. See a Therapist
Sleep conditions are often linked to mental health, and one common symptom of depression is sleeping too much. On the flip side, depression can also commonly cause insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep.
Seem a little confusing? That’s okay! You’re not in this alone.
If you think your sleep troubles could be linked to a larger mental health condition, it’s a good idea to start seeing a therapist — even if you aren’t sure exactly why you’re sleeping so much. You don’t have to have all the answers to start looking for help.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
It can be hard to know whether you’re oversleeping or undersleeping, especially if you’re struggling with your mental health. So how much sleep do you really need? Is 9 hours too much sleep, or not enough?
Some sleep studies have defined oversleeping as simply sleeping more than nine hours a night. But the exact amount of sleep needed to feel rested is different from person to person.
To know if you’re oversleeping, it’s helpful to know how much people sleep by age. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, 7 to 9 hours for adults, and 7 to 8 hours for older adults. According to their study, “sleep durations outside the recommended range may be appropriate, but deviating far from the normal range is rare.”
In other words, if you’re an adult who regularly sleeps much longer than nine hours, this might be considered oversleeping.
3. Monitor Your Medications
If you’re wondering why you sleep so much, you might want to take a closer look at what you’re putting in your body.
Some medications can interfere with your sleep and wake cycle. If you’re taking prescription medications and feeling unusually tired, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage.
4. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol can also lead to oversleeping. Even though alcohol might make you sleepy when you drink it, it can make your overall sleep quality worse. That means more hours in bed add up to the same amount of real rest.
So if you think you’re having a few too many drinks, try cutting back — your sleep schedule just might thank you.
5. Keep a Sleep Journal
In order to understand how much you’ve been sleeping, it helps to have a record! A sleep journal is a great way to keep track of your sleep habits. And if a sleep-related condition could be at play, your doctor might even ask you to keep a sleep journal as part of your treatment plan.
Why do I sleep so much?
Many people keep track of their sleep schedules by remembering when they went to bed and when they woke up. But this might make you think you’re sleeping longer than you actually do.
Sleep journals usually ask you to estimate how long it took you to fall asleep after you got into bed. You might not know the exact number of minutes, but after filling out your sleep journal for a week or two, it’ll be helpful to see
If you’re spending a lot of time tossing and turning before you fall asleep — or waking up in the middle of the night — that might help explain why you seem to be sleeping so much.
6. Readjust Your Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and waking up on time is often easier said than done. But keeping a consistent sleep schedule is a good first step if you find yourself sleeping too much.
Sleep debt is real and can lead to oversleeping. When you regularly get less sleep than you need (even by just a small amount each night), your body doesn’t function as well.
For some people, this translates into longer-than-usual snooze sessions on the weekend after restricting sleep during the week.
If you try to go to bed and wake up at similar times on weeknights and weekends, it should help you avoid building up sleep debt. Just make sure to schedule in enough hours!
7. Create a Calming Sleep Space
A bedroom makeover might sound like a treat to some people, but to others, it spells out a lot of hard work. Luckily, you don’t need to rethink your sleep space entirely in order to freshen it up for a nicer night’s rest!
Even something as simple as washing and changing your sheets and blankets more often can help you rest a little easier.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can try installing blackout curtains to keep out the harsh morning light, or a special charging station to keep your phone away from your bed. Other upgrades like a supportive body pillow or a sleep mask can also be helpful.
8. Try a Weighted Blanket
While there isn’t always a simple solution for how to stop oversleeping, it can help to find ways to limit how often you wake up during the night. Weighted blankets help many people fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep through the night. They’re also scientifically proven to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase melatonin (the sleep hormone).
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9. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
As much as we all love our morning cup of coffee, drinking caffeine can be bad news for restorative sleep … especially if we end up drinking it later in the day.
A good rule of thumb is to cut off your caffeine intake after 2pm. That way, your body will have time to process your morning caffeine long before your head hits the pillow.
But if you’re feeling tired even after a long sleep, that might be a sign that it’s time to cut back on caffeine even more. Caffeine withdrawal can make you feel tired or groggy on those mornings when you skip your regular coffee.
By swapping coffee for a low-caffeine option like green tea — or cutting out caffeine altogether — you might find yourself feeling fresher after a long night’s sleep.
10. Skip the Snooze Button
As you begin to adjust your sleep schedule, how you wake up might become just as important as how you fall asleep. And if you’re used to snoozing your alarms first thing in the morning, waking up can be a challenge.
A few small changes can help get you back on track to an easier wake up. You can start by making sure your alarm clock isn’t within reach of your bed. Physically getting out of bed to turn off your alarm can go a long way towards waking you up.
Another way to avoid oversleeping is to let in natural light first thing in the morning. With a little extra dose of sunlight, your brain will start to tell your body that it’s time to wake up and take on the day.
Sleeping in late isn’t always a bad thing. But if you find yourself frequently asking why you sleep so much, you’re not the only one.
There are many reasons why you might find yourself sleeping too much. You could be working off a sleep debt that’s built up over previous nights, or suffering the side effects of a new medication. And it’s possible that your oversleeping is a symptom of a larger condition such as sleep apnea or even depression.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out how to stop oversleeping is to consult a medical professional. As you develop a treatment plan, helpful steps might include keeping a sleep journal or trying a natural sleep aid such as a weighted blanket.
Once you’ve established a consistent sleep schedule you’ll be well on your way to waking up earlier and more refreshed.