Skip to comments.Causes of oversleeping?
Posted on 07/20/2007 2:09:28 PM PDT by tlj18
I have a question for you all. I'm kind of curious. I have a tendancy to sleep for very long periods of time when I don't set my alarm or sleep through my alarm. I will almost always sleep for around 12 hours without an alarm. I can get up no problem without the alarm. Normal people might sleep for 8 hours. Two nights ago I slept for about 15 hours, although I was up for 34 hours before that (that has made this whole week hard to keep track of what happened in what day :-) ). Yesterday I was up for 15 hours, then slept for 11 hours. Yeah, 34 hours is a lot, but still that amount of sleep is typical, unfortunately. I have enormous resistance to seek medical help, considering my occupation (Soldier) and my aspirations (U.S. Army Special Forces). I suppose it could be stress-related. I'm somewhat vulnerable to stress, but I will get the mission accomplished, no matter the stress level or other intervening stuff.
On second thought, I can remember having oversleeping problems before joining the military, too. And before my six years of going to college and working in the civilian world. And in high school, too. And I distinctly remember how depressed I felt after oversleeping.
Is this a new phenomenon? If not, it may just be normal and healthy for you. Most people need somewhere in the negihborhood of 8 hours sleep a night to be at peak mental and physical health. But a small percentage do fine on half that, and a small percentage need much more. One of the super-successful Silicon Valley tech company founders (can’t recall now the name of the guy or the company) was profiled in a business magazine back in the dot.com era, and said he’d always needed 11 hours of sleep a night. It certainly didn’t get in the way of his success, but is obviously not terribly compatible with a career like military special forces.
Sometimes, when I spend too much time on the computer, I get really sleepy and fall asleep right in the middle of my sentennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Talk with your doc. You might need to go to a sleep clinic to ensure you don’t have something going on like sleep apnea. If this isn’t something you’ve always tended to do, then it is likely something is up. But if you’ve always tended toward sleeping this long, then maybe it’s just how your body is ‘wired’.
Do you feel sleepy during the day and fall asleep very quickly?
I made a few changes and it has made a big difference. I started working out in the morning. I also stopped eating late at night. I try not to eat anything at least three hours before I go to bed. I also moved my bed so the morning sun shines through the window on me. Finally, drink a very large glass of water right before you go to bed. The last one will really wake you up.
I am up working 27 hrs at a time and I sleep the next day or or the 2nd one after for 12-15hrs.
I am use to sleeping in the A.M. 9 to Noon as my work time is evenings. (28 yrs)
So I don’t make any appts. in the morning (other reasons too) because I get narcoleptic.
Go with the flow of your bodies clock. Dump the alarm on the days you don’t need to be somewhere.
Sleep is a good thing.
Recharges the brain.
Esp as you age and keep the long hours awake, like you posted.
Seriously though, try to get on a good sleep cycle and go to bed at an earlier hour if you stay up late. Do some research on the subject. I can sleep for very long periods of time, too. I doubt that you have a problem. Good luck with your Army career.
Sleep apnea, sleep apnoea or sleep apna is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep.
Further reading discovered no discussion regarding sleep apnea as a cause for over-sleeping. The article does suggest that persons with sleep apnea can fall asleep while sitting and resting or having a conversation with others. More information is available at:
Do you snore?
I have the same problem. Tired all the time. Fall right to sleep after reading three paragraphs from a book in bed.
I had a sleep study last night at the hospital. They hooked all kind of wires and belts to me. I slept for a few hours and then they put me on a breathing machine. The machine was weird and you have to wear this mask. I don’t know if I’d like sleeping with a machine.
You should get it looked at. I’ve talked to people who had the surgery to remove their tonsils, adenoids and uvula. They all said it changed their lives.
Good advice. Late workouts and meals really mess up my sleep patterns, too.
Are you logged in?
He’s asleep. lol
Note, the effects of rotating shifts (depending on your military job) can cause this exact problem, as can excessive physical stress, or, of course, psych stress.
Try getting at least 20 minutes of bright light first thing in AM, every single AM if you aren’t now (On field exercises or camping trips, do things improve?) Also, I suggest a dose of Niacin (with plenty of food and juice in advance) and 20 minutes of exercise first thing after you set your regular wake up time. This MUST be consistent for it to improve things. Also, look to stimulants such as caffeine and other dietary causes.
Medical reasons run the gamut, but a couple of common ones could be infection, such as Epstein Barr, or Sleep Apnea (characterized by heavy snoring).
I’ve had two sleep studies.
How did your’s turn out?
No, He fell asleep. This thread tends to do that.
Low blood pressure?
It could also be allergies.
I have noticed that if I watch TV for more than about 10 minutes it bothers my sleep patterns.
I wouldn’t worry about it...probably normal for you.
Go get a good set of hypnosis tapes. 15 minutes of hypnosis is equal to about 4 hours REM sleep. In college I worked 2 full time jobs on at night one in the day. I slept 4 hours a day 2 in the morning 2 in the afternoon. I used the hypnosis tapes and woke up refreshed after each 2 hours. I did that all summer.
I still am rested after about 3 1/2 hours of sleep at night.
If so then your a stud. BTW, any tips on where to buy the tapes. I need all the help I can get.
1) Sleep apnea. Both my husband and I had it. I had an operation, he used a CPAP machine and lost weight. It made all the difference in the world.
2) Depression. Are you grieving right now or have had any other losses (broken up with a girlfriend, lost a pet) that would be making you depressed? Depression can manifest as excessive sleep. In fact, the classic sign of a depression is to go to sleep, wake up very early (like 4:30 or 5), stay awake a couple hours unable to sleep, and then become desperately sleepy and sleep for several hours before waking again. You can be depressed without necessarily being aware of "sad" feelings
3) Anxiety. Any unusual stresses in your life right now (monetary strain, divorce, etc.) People under stress can sleep more.
4)Excessive caffeine, alcohol, other meds. Sometimes people can sleep with a lot of coffee or Red Bull in them, but it's a shallow sleep without a lot of deep sleep, the part of sleeping that physically refreshes the body. Alcohol, same thing. If you don't dream or can't dream, that may be a clue you aren't getting the right kind of sleep, so your body is sleeping longer trying to get it.
Just my random thoughts! I agree with other posters: go to a sleep clinic. Treating our apnea just made a world of difference in our lives!
Yeah. I don't think the Special Forces are going to let you sleep 15 hours a day.
LOL. That's a big one for me as well.
Thanks for the laugh. :)
I would talk to anyone you know that knows a good hypnotherapist. Preferably one that has studied a man named Milton Erickson. GO to them and ask how much it would cost to do a couple of sessions and have them make you a Cd that you can use.
I would also go to a sleep clinic. I had sleep apnea ( very bad case) I didnt notice much disruption in my sleeping but they said it was there. ( I had surgery to correct it) But if your body is craving it, you better check it out.
I’ve had sleep apnea for 12yrs, and I can’t get more than 8hrs sleep or I’m stiff and semi-groggy. The CPAP machine is something you have to get used to...but they do have mouthpieces now with “buds” for your nostrils. That operation on throat is only 50% successful...I’ve been to a surgeon about it. Also, the sleep study will determine whether the problem is physical or a quirk in the brain that sends the wrong message to your body. The big thing is oxygen saturation levels in brain should be in mid to upper 90’s(mine was 68 before CPAP,now it’s 96) Good luck with your health! ps People who work the 3rd shift are more prone to sleep apnea,diabetes and weight gain!
Well I heard a voice cry in the deep Come join me baby in my endless sleep Endless sleep
I just had it last night. I don’t get to meet with the doctor until August 8. They said I do have sleep apnea though. I snore like a pig.
I don’t want to sleep with a machine. I’ll go for the surgery even if it’s painful.
I’m really looking forward to ending the daytime zombie thing.
I think I found your answer here..
” although I was up for 34 hours before that “
If you're in the 50%, though, it's a miracle. I had the UPPP procedure, and I can't even tell you how much more energy I have and how much better I feel. I did have to really fight to get the surgery, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Just for the record for those that have sleep apnea and are considering the surgery. I had the surgery. I have an enormous pain tolerance. They discharged me in 2 days. I was in so much pain ( I could not swallow even water let alone pills) I had to be readmitted to the hospital and was on IV morphine for 5 additional days. Furthermore I did not DRINK for 11 days and did not eat anything for 17 days.
For those that wonder what the surgery is like ??? I tell people if you can get on your roof and attach jumper cables to your tonsils then jump off and then hang there for about 10 days..... then you are ready for the surgery.
On the lighter note I dont snore anymore, and my breathing seems somewhat normal “says my wife” I never had too much trouble sleeping before the surgery so there is not a lot i can compare it too.
I will say if your life is hell because you are not getting the rest you need you can get a tracheotomy and bypass the air way all together. I did not choose this for a number of reasons the biggest one is I am in the water alot.
Apparently you have to be tested extensively with specific results in order to have your insurance pay for the operation.
Anyway, I’ll be trying the machine for a while first. Maybe it won’t be all that bad.
When I was young and physically active, I required lots of sleep. I could sleep 12 hours or more if and when my schedule permitted it. When you are going and going and day after day you are in a sleep deficit, as soon as you are allowed to or have the time to, your body will try to make up for that deficit. It’s normal.
I can’t remember exactly how the saying went, but it had something to do with warriors. All the way back to the beginning of recorded history, warriors had to go without sleep. Therefore, whenever possible, a warrior would get some sleep in the strangest places and times and sleep through anything. If you are one that falls asleep everytime you get a little bored or sit doing nothing for a few minutes, you are a warrior. I tend to fall asleep everytime i try to watch TV. That’s why I rarely turn on the TV. When I was younger and had very physical jobs, everytime I was givin a 15 minute break, I would fall asleep. Some think this is a weakness. It isn’t. It is merely a well trained warrior. But if you fall asleep when your aren’t supposed to, then you have a problem.
You know, my son has done the same thing. He can sleep and sleep and sleep—12 hours, like you. He nearly lost his job before he dealt with himself and has made himself get up when the alarm goes off. The company told him that if he was late to work once over the next 6 months, they’d fire him. He’s made it more than 6 months.
I really thought that he had a sleep disorder. Now, I think it was a self-control disorder. I just can’t figure out how he can sleep so long.
I’m really glad it worked for you!
How was the pain? Was it as bad as walkingfeather says in the post after yours?
This is so weird that this thread popped up the day I had my sleep study.
1) some people are “long sleepers” (as opposed to short sleepers)— the human body is set to sleep about 8 hours a night unless it is “trained” to sleep less. But then, sleeping less ends up as a mild sleep deprivation.
On the other hand, long sleepers generally sleep more than the eight hours — like maybe 10 to 12 hours a night.
We can’t make up the sleep we lose, but we can make up the REM sleep — that time in our sleep cycle when rapid eye movements say we’re dreaming. And even for those people who say they never dream, they do dream. They just don’t remember their dreams.
2.) It could also be what we call “hypersomnia” which is one of the criteria for depression. But hypersomnia is reserved more for people who want to stay in bed for long long periods of time with the proverbial blanket pulled over their heads. Doesn’t sound like you’re hypersomniac but rather, a long sleeper.
(Hypersomnia is the opposite of insomnia)
Sleep cycles and the brain were my students’ favorite units when I taught psychology. But college students tend to be short sleepers, and sleep deprived. Short sleepers also tend to drive drowsy — so they’d all be a bit better off going toward the long sleepers.
“Most people need somewhere in the negihborhood of 8 hours sleep a night ...”
The average amount of time that adults slept at the turn of the century (1900s) was 9-1/2 hours a night. The fact that we’ve turned that back to an average of 8 hours a night says a lot about cultural expectations.
Cave studies put research participants at about 10 hours when they are left to their own devices and without any external cues to tell them what time it is or how much time has passed since they last slept.
Oh man, mine was bad but not that bad! I took two weeks off and recupped at home, was on a morphine "patch" for those weeks. I could drink some, but didn't eat for ten days and tried to sleep through the worst of it (although NO position is comfortable, I dozed in the recliner for the first couple weeks, couldn't tolerate any other position!) My throat didn't feel really normal for two months. Sounds like that was a walk in the park compared to you, though.
I'd still go through it all over again. I was a zombie before, sleeping 12 to 14 hours and then needed a nap in the afternoon, didn't even feel like walking or shopping. Fell asleep at work, in front of the TV, fell asleep once in church (so embarrasing!) afraid to drive sometimes. It's like night and day, the pain for me was worth getting my life back.