Oversleeping and Its Link to Depression
Having enough sleep is important for maintaining good health. While sometimes you need extra rest to recuperate but oversleeping too often may be a sign of something more serious such as thyroid disorders, heart disease and even depression.
How Much Sleep is Too Much?
While teenagers require up to 10 hours of sleep a day, adults should get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Sleeping more than 8 hours frequently is a sign that something is not right.
Why Depression Causes Oversleeping
While many people with depression tend to report insomnia, about 15% tend to oversleep. Oversleeping may be a symptom of atypical depression. Atypical depression is a type of depression in which a person’s mood can improve in response to a positive event. But this is only temporary and the depression remains. Most often, people do not realise they are depressed. When they are depressed, sleep is sometimes a form of escape.
Sleep apnea is a common symptom that comes with depression. Someone with sleep apnea will stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, causing fragmented and disrupted sleep. Because they wake up so frequently during their sleep, they do not get into the deeper stages of sleep that they need. As a result, they often feel tired even if they have slept an adequate number of hours.
Interruption to Body Clock
A depressed person can have an interrupted circadian rhythm, our body’s natural clock. They cannot wake up in the morning or are sleeping past their alarm because they are not able to fall asleep early so they sleep late into the morning and sometimes, early afternoon.
Oversleeping Can Become a Vicious Cycle
Oversleeping can worsen depression symptoms because waking up late can cause a depressed person to feel like they are behind and have missed out on the day to complete what they want to do. Furthermore, oversleeping can have other health risks such as increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, fertility issues and even obesity.
Ways to Tackle Oversleeping
See a Healthcare Provider
If you suspect your oversleeping is a symptom of depression, visit a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. Getting your mental health back on track will is key to your sleep, mood and physical health.
Do Not Hit the Snooze Button
Hitting the snooze button causes you to get brief, fragmented sleep periods. You gather sleep inertia and your body wants to stay asleep, causing you to be difficulty waking up.
Waking Up on Weekends at The Same Time
This is not a popular tip, but staying consistent with your sleep and wake time whether it is a weekend or a weekday helps to prevent oversleeping.
Develop Good Sleep Habits
Setting your bedroom for the mood to sleep and adjusting the light for sleeping are just some ways to develop good sleep habits. Refer to our article on how to develop good sleep habits to get a good night’s rest.
Having a balanced diet with a wide variety of nutrients and a healthy balance of carbohydrates and fats helps to regulate normal sleep durations. Include a wide range of vegetables, grains and lean proteins so that your body receives the minerals, vitamins and nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Get Enough Sunlight
Your body’s natural body clock takes cues from sunlight to tell you when to be awake and when to sleep. Exposure to sunlight also supports vitamin D production, which plays an important role in influencing the sleep hormone melatonin.
Exercising regularly helps promote better sleep quality and a healthy sleep duration. Getting better quality sleep means waking up less in the night, and helps you feel more rested.
Include chrysanthemum tea to clear heat, reduce excessive yang energy and calm the nerve for better sleep. Applying Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream to the neck area before going to bed can help to harmonise your hormones and influence melatonin.