What Causes Oversleeping

Updated May 27, 2022

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Dangers of Oversleeping

When people think of sleep-related problems, they probably think of sleep disorders that cause them to get too little sleep. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping too little can lead to other health problems.

Another issue that can cause a variety of health issues is oversleeping. Oversleeping can be associated with an increased risk for health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Other health problems include depression, headache, and a greater risk of death from a medical condition.

What is Too Much Sleep?

As mentioned, experts recommend sleeping an average of 7 to 9 hours. If you find yourself needing more than 8 or 9 hours of sleep on a regular basis, it may be a sign of something serious. There are several possible causes for excessive sleeping and ways to fix them.

Causes for Tiredness

There are several sleep conditions that can lead to poor sleep. They can make you feel tired no matter how much you sleep. Here are a few of those conditions.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that makes you stop breathing while you are sleeping. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the signs of sleep apnea could be loud snoring, waking up with a dry mouth, gasping for air during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Some of the people who are at the highest risk are men, people who are older, struggle with obesity, and people who use certain medications.

Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed by a sleep doctor. You may have to do a sleep study. If diagnosed, you may be required to use a CPAP machine, mouthguard, or sleep with an adjustable base.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrom (RLS) is a strong urge to move your legs. It is generally accompanied by uncomfortable sensations according to Mayo Clinic. These sensations may include aches, burning, tingling, or crawling sensations on your legs. These symptoms are most common when you are resting, sleeping, or trying to fall asleep.

This can cause a lack of sleep. This problem could be genetic, it is also a common side effect for pregnant women, iron deficiency, and certain drugs.

Sleep Bruxism

Bruxism is a sleep disorder that results in you grinding your teeth while you sleep. This is much more common with children and goes away as they age. In rare cases, it may be a problem in adults. Bruxism is easily fixed with a nightguard or other treatments.

Chronic Pain and Medications

Being in mild to severe pain will make it harder to sleep. If the pain is untreated it will also lead to poor sleep and fatigue. Certain medications can cause drowsiness and make you sleep longer.

Other Sleep Conditions

Some conditions will not affect your sleep quality, but they will increase the amount of sleep you need.


Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that interferes with your body’s sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy will have difficulty staying awake for long periods of time. The risk is higher in young people ages 10-30 or people with a family history.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

This disorder causes your circadian rhythm or internal clock to keep you up at night. This can make it hard to wake up in the morning. Your sleep schedule could be delayed by as much as two hours.

Idiopathic Hypersomnia

This is a rare sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness. It can cause difficulty waking up after a long night of sleep. Naps generally do not leave you feeling refreshed.

Possible Treatments

There are different possible treatments for these sleep issues. Your doctor may provide

Sleep Medicine

Your doctor may be able to prescribe sleeping pills such as melatonin. It is also possible that vitamins will improve your sleep. It is possible that medication for other conditions such as a mental health disorder is causing your excessive sleepiness, ask your doctor for new medication.

Keep a Sleep Diary

If you are planning to see a doctor, write down concerts about your sleep. Write down your usual habits and sleep patterns. Make sure you write down how long it takes you to fall asleep and how long you sleep, and if you nap during the day.

Sleep Hygiene

In many cases, the best way to obtain better sleep is to maintain good sleep habits. Keep a good sleep schedule and make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable for you. Avoid caffeine or any stimulant that will keep you awake. Put your phone down at night to reduce your intake of blue light.


Sleeping too much can be just as harmful as sleeping too little. It will make you more vulnerable to several different health problems. There are a number of different sleep conditions that can cause oversleeping and tiredness. Always talk with your healthcare provider to find out what you should do to treat your disorder and finally obtain enough sleep.

About the Author Steven Bieber

Steven Bieber HeadshotSteven is a content writer who recently broke into the mattress industry. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and listening to music.

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