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Why Am I Sleeping So Much?

Why am I sleeping so much? Excessive sleepiness is a common complaint for many adults. Learn why excessive sleepiness happens and how to resolve it.

Why am I sleeping so much?

Article Contents

Do You Feel Like You Are Sleeping Too Much?

If you constantly find yourself asking:
  • Why am I sleeping so much?
  • Why do I feel sleepy all the time?
  • Why do I want to sleep all the time?
Then there’s a high likelihood of something disrupting your sleep patterns and causing problems. Sleeping all day could be the result of poor sleep habits, an underlying mental health diagnosis, or several other complications.

What Is Excessive Sleepiness?

People who ask themselves, “why am I sleeping so much?” are often experiencing a symptom known as excessive sleepiness. Sleeping all the time or trouble staying awake are relatively common problems, but they can cause significant impairment in everyday functioning.
Sleeping too much can cause people to miss important events, interfere with work or relationships, or cause undue stress.

Is Excessive Sleepiness Common?

Excessive sleepiness is one of the most frequently reported sleep problems and has been reported at rates between 4% to 20% of the population. Often, excessive daytime sleepiness indicates an underlying problem affecting an individual’s sleep patterns, which can usually be corrected.1

Should You Need to Be Concerned If You Get Excessive Sleep?

Sleeping too much causes significant concern for many people, but it isn’t necessarily harmful to your health—it is a warning sign. Sudden sleepiness is a symptom of several disorders and medical conditions that warrant attention. In a study of over 24,000 people, sleeping too much was associated with an increased risk of psychiatric illness and higher BMI.2

What Causes Excessive Sleepiness?

The answer to “why am I sleeping so much?” could be any number of different causes. Dozens of different medical and psychiatric illnesses can result in sleeping all day or sleeping too much. Over 50% of people in the U.S. report daytime sleepiness between three and seven days per week.3

Sleeping too much? Causes could include:

  • Fragmented or poor-quality sleep
  • Smoking
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Not enough exercise
  • Sleep-wake disorders, such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, and circadian rhythm disorder
  • Medical conditions, such as chronic pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and obesity
  • Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia
Determining the exact cause of being sleepy all the time will help you to determine how to go about fixing your sleeping habits.

Side Effects of Oversleeping

Sleeping for long periods can cause several problems with people’s physical and mental health. Sleeping too much causes increased risk for:

  • Degenerative diseases
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Increased inflammation
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Increased weight gain
  • Stroke

Further, excessive daytime drowsiness can cause impaired motor functions, putting people at risk of accidents or injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of 83,000 motor vehicle crashes and 886 fatal crashes annually.4

Excessive Sleepiness Diagnosis and Treatment

Sleeping all day can get in the way of living a healthier and more productive life. Many people experiencing excessive sleepiness can benefit from seeking treatment with medical professionals to accurately diagnose the cause of sleeping all the time and provide targeted treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and treat the underlying causes.

How to Diagnose Excessive Sleepiness

If you’re asking yourself, “why am I sleeping so much all of a sudden?” it’s likely that you could benefit from seeking professional medical treatment. You can start the process by talking to your primary care provider, who can assess whether other problems are impacting your sleep. They may also refer you to a sleep specialist.
Either a primary care physician or a sleep specialist may be able to begin treatment for excessive sleepiness and help you get back on track.

How to Treat Excessive Sleepiness

There are three primary methods for helping people with excessive sleepiness:
  • Medication
  • Talk therapy
  • Behavior changes
Each of these three treatment options can provide immense relief for people struggling with sleeping all day, and they can all work together to provide better results:
  • Medications: Medications for excessive sleepiness include stimulant drugs, antidepressants, and specialized medications to treat narcolepsy. These medications can help treat symptoms and help people stay awake throughout the day. However, they are not necessarily a cure for excessive sleepiness, as many medications don’t treat the underlying cause.

  • Talk Therapy: Talk therapy is an effective solution for people who experience sudden sleepiness due to mental illness concerns. People experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental ailments can find that therapy vastly reduces their symptoms and helps them fall asleep more easily at night and stay awake during the day.

  • Behavioral Therapy: Finally, behavioral changes are a simple way of helping people who keep falling asleep during the day. We’ve outlined some of the key changes you can make to improve your sleep hygiene below.

Tips for Better Sleep

Why am I sleeping so much?
Sleeping too much causes several problems, both day and night. People who experience sudden excessive sleepiness during the day often struggle to fall asleep at night. Follow these tips to help reduce the problems of sleeping all the time and begin falling asleep on a regular schedule:

Avoid Excessive Light

Bright lights, especially blue light, can keep the mind active and awake, even in the middle of the night. Cutting down on screen time before bed can make it easier for you to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.

Try a Sleep Schedule

Set a regular time to go to bed and wake up each day. When you keep falling asleep at the same time every night, your body remembers the pattern and will help you to stick to it.

Avoid Drugs

Caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, and illicit substances can interfere with sleep. Try cutting down on these substances and see if it helps with your drowsiness.

Avoid Long Daytime Naps

Long daytime naps can disrupt your body’s sleep-wake patterns. Try to stick to one long sleep at night rather than taking naps during the day.
All these tips are designed to help you keep a regular sleep cycle and improve the quality of your sleep. Use them with medical advice to try to regulate your sleep patterns and recover from excessive daytime sleepiness.

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