How much sleep is too much?

November 12, 2012

How much sleep is too much?

Someone who is suffering from a severe sleep disorder will sleep longer than a person who has, what is considered, an average sleep pattern.

Excessive sleeping can increase the chances of accidents, cause health problems and the quality of life is disrupted. Severe sleep disorders include Kleine-Levin syndrome and hypersomnia,

A person’s health is affected by too much sleep. A recent study found that increasing sleep patterns from eight hours to more than that per night may double the risk of death should this pattern continue for more than 10 years. It is still unclear why death rates increase due to excessive sleeping but it may be connected to being in a low socioeconomic status, depression or possibly cancer.

Sleepiness during the day or sleep attacks can raise the risk of an accident occurring particularly if the sleep attack happens while cooking or driving or carrying out some other activity. Suffering from a disorder of excessive sleeping can result in having a sudden and overwhelming urge to sleep.

Suffering from a severe sleep disorder stops people from being fully engaged in careers and socially. It can have a serious effect on the quality of life. It may be relationships suffer and in the very extreme cases people who are sleeping excessively are not able to accomplish very simple daily tasks.

The majority of adults usually need to sleep approximately eight hours at night, but others may require longer (up to 12 hours sleep) to feel as if they have rested. People who are classed as long sleepers are not sleeping to excess they just require this amount of sleep in order to go about their daily tasks and function in a normal manner. Social activities and interactions can be affected by long sleeping. But it appears to be the case that if the sleeper has enough sleep no adverse effects are reported.

An excessive sleeping disorder is hypersomnia syndrome which causes sleepiness during the day and sleep attacks. This syndrome involves the person sleeping for long periods of time but still waking up feeling tired. And sleeping for longer has no effect whatsoever on preventing the sleepiness during the day for sufferers of hypersomnia syndrome. Hallucinations, decreased appetite, memory difficulties and anxiety are symptoms which have been reported. Hypersomnia has many of the elements associated with narcolepsy such as sleep attacks and sleepiness but sufferers don’t suffer from cataplexy.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is a very severe sleep disorder. The person has periods where they sleep to excess and will only wake to eat and use the washroom. This syndrome appears to be more common in young men and it is not unusual for them to average 20 hours of sleep in the one day. On waking they are uncommunicative, irritable and may also experience personality changes.

Treating severe and excessive sleeping disorders is dependent on the type of disorder. No treatment is normally required for long sleeping. This disorder should be controlled by making sure the patient gets the right amount of sleep per night. Hypersomnia and Kleine-Levin syndromes may require behavioral modifications and stimulants to help with the relief and reduction of these symptoms which are associated with these sleep disorders

What may appear to be a severe sleep disorder may be connected to an unidentified health problem. And by finding out what the cause is, most people will return to their normal sleeping pattern.

Category: Articles