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Sleeping to much at ONE time
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Sleeping to much at ONE time

I am finding myself sleeping too much and too heavily and want to find out why so I can stop it; but I would like to do so without paying for a doctor visit right away - so please help me with tips or advice, and help me decide if I need to see a doctor - have you heard of such habits before?

I am not posting this question under sleep disorders because I haven't found anything in my research of sleep disorders that quite describes my experience.

I sleep too much at night, typically 10-11 hours STRAIGHT, sometimes as much as 14 hours STRAIGHT.  Though typically I don't wake up naturally untill after about ten hours and will then sleep for about 13 hours total if allowed. Sometimes it's worse: for example this last week was particularly busy and last night I slept 16 hours STRAIGHT!! at which point I saw the clock and was suprised, thought I was thinking about waking up, but then didn't actually end up waking up for another three hours - a total of 19 hours of sleep!  I didn't even know that was possible!!  That is the first time such an extreme sleep episode has happened.  This has been going on for about six months.  I know that I don't have a very set sleep schedule in terms of bedtimes and when to wake up, but I've been trying to get myself on one but my natural sleep timing keeps messing that up (such as episodes like last night).

I can wake up to alarms but they usually have to be going off for a little while and then if I actually need to wake up, I do.  But it's very often that I still end up waking up late.  I just don't understand why it's so hard to wake up and why if no alarm is set, I sleep as much as I do.

What is unique about me compared to other 'oversleepers' is that if allowed a sleep long periods straight.  I don't wake up after seven hours and decide I still want to sleep another three.  Another difference is that I am not a sleepy person.  While it is hard for me to wake up initially, I am a fairly energized person during the day (though I do tend to drink 1-2 cups of tea or coffee throughout) and I don't crave sleep at night persay.  I am just becoming a increasingly deeper sleeper.  I've always been a deep sleeper in that I might not hear alarms or my surroundings, but now when I go to bed I feel like I turn into a brick and waking up just doesn't come naturally and it's hard to force.  I just want to naturally sleep eight hours and wake up and be okay with it.  Sleeping half a day is not okay!  Almost sleeping a full day like I just did is NOT OKAY!

In general, I consider myself relatively healthy and happy.  I think I eat well and try to keep my diet balanced, I don't exercise as much as I would like but am still relatively fit and at a healthy weight.  I do not smoke and I don't drink heavily.  I am a busy college student getting my Masters, but I have been more stressed in the past.  I don't see anything about my current lifestyle that would be causing this.  If anything, my schedule and life allows me to sleep more now and I have been eating better for the last year than I have in the last six!  The only time I remember sleeping a bit excessively (though not quite this bad) was about four years ago and I ended up having walking pneumonia.  I am sure I don't have that now, but is such sleeping indicative of something else that could be wrong?  The more I type this, the more I think the answer is 'see a doctor'.  But hey, maybe someone out there will at least say 'I've heard of someone like you - don't worry - it's fairly common!"  We'll see.  Thanks for your help in advance!
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4 Comments
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1571760_tn?1295752072
Hey Pleiades6,

4 possible causes to rule out:

1.) what's your alcohol intake like? coz on days when we drink a lot of alcohol, it can cause oversleeping the next day

2.) Are you on any medications? coz some meds can cause oversleeping

3.) do you have regular sleeping hours? This one is just from personal experience - I've found that when I go to sleep at really variable hours each night, and at crazy hours consistently, I tend to need more sleep. I'm guessing it messes up your sleep chemicals if they dont have routine. I think that regularizing sleep hours so that you're goign to bed at around the same time every night, and at normal hours ie pre 1am or something - might help get back to returning back to your body demanding only a normal amount of sleep.

4.) sleep apnea could mean that you feel like you're sleeping soundly, but actually are not sleeping well, which makes your body feel like it needs more sleep. This one can only be ruled out by getting someone to watch you sleep, see if you're breathing ok when you sleep.
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1491252_tn?1297454371
Hello there. I have a similar problem, but mine is where i don't sleep for that amount and i can be awake and jolly without sleep.
I read that sleeping too much can kill you. here's the link, read the comments it may help

http://thefutureofthings.com/news/1026/dont-sleep-too-much-it-might-kill-you.html

Depression could cause this enormous sleeping periods
or sleep deprivation, also your eating habits could cause this, like if you eat a big meal for dinner, it might make you extra sleepy.

this is all i can think of to help at the moment, but if it continues i would see help from a doctor

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1571920_tn?1295835052
im not a doctor but hers what i found

Causes of Oversleeping

There are several causes as to why a person sleeps too much but some of the common causes are stress, lack of self-discipline and poor sleep in some of the previous days. These are some of the temporary causes that can be got rid of with a little will power and determination or probably with the change of phase but there are some causes, which are to be dealt with clinically and are not as simple as the previous ones. Lets discuss some of these causes in details.

    * Sleep Apnea- Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder, which is more about trouble to breathe, which results in frequent disturbances in long and deep sleep, thus leaves the person tired and slow even if he has slept for 10 hours. It is a severe problem when people start falling asleep while driving and at work. The worst part of the disease that most of the people who have Sleep Apnea do not even know that they are suffering due to such conditions because they do not remember getting up in the night gasping for breath so they do not take any actions to stop it from happening. The breathing trouble happens so that the muscles of the walls of the throat tend to relax as the individual starts relaxing and as result of which the air flow inside the body stops and either the individual gets up to breathe or he or she fails to go to a deep level of sleep which actually regenerates and freshens our mind and body. Some of the symptoms of this kind of disease are dozing off to sleep irrespective of the place, heavy snoring and headaches in the morning. Mostly reducing the weight can treat this disorder.
    * Narcolepsy-Unlike Sleep Apnea Narcolepsy is a neurological, problem that leads to over sleeping. This neurological problem hits that part of the brain, which controls and regulates sleep. People who have narcolepsy fail to identify and distinguish between the times to sleep and the times to remain awake. Such people can fall asleep anywhere and anytime. It is often considered to be hereditary disease and it actually changes the lifestyle of a person and clinical help is a must in case of Narcolepsy. A patient of Narcolepsy might fall asleep for seconds or even for an hour but when these patients get up they feel refreshed and energetic but this condition does not prevail for long. They start feeling sleepy again. It is a hereditary disease but then there are environmental problems also that play a major role. It is said that people who suffer from Narcolepsy lack in the protein called Hypocretin, which actually regulates the inclinations to fall asleep.


By Poushali Ganguly
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! Certainly food for thought!

I'm pretty sure it's not due to alcohol consumption (I drink at most two drinks per night, maybe two nights a week, and more than 4 drinks/night definitely no more than once per month.  I don't know, maybe that is heavy and I should cut back.....? I didn't think so though.

It's true that my sleep schedule can be goofy, but I've been trying to regulate it, it just gets hard when I'm trying to habituate myself to sleeping less - it's just hard to wake up!  I'll keep working on it though.

I am curious about the sleep apnea thing.  I do wake up with headaches.  I always remember my dreams very well - does that mean I'm not sleeping deeply?  And another thing, I do get those mid-sleep hallucinations (about once per week) where I apparently open my eyes 'while sleeping' and hallucinate about things in my room.  It freaks me out in the moment, but I snap out of it in about ten seconds and just go back to bed.   They started when I was a kid but they happen much more frequently within the last four years.  I always thought it was kind of weird, but no big deal, but then I read elsewhere that this is something that could be related to sleep apnea too...?...hmmmm
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