It’s one of the worst feelings. You’ve set your alarm, you hit the snooze button… but you’ve snoozed too much. You’re now late for work and feel awful! Or, you’ve thought you’ll get a quick nap. Next thing you know, you’ve accidentally slept all day!
Either way you did it, you’ve overslept and you need to feel normal again. We’re gonna sort this out. We all oversleep sometimes, so let’s explore how we can feel better again.
What Are The Basics?
Oversleeping is pretty common. Adults normally need around 7 or 8 hours sleep a night whereas kids need about 10.
With our hectic lives trying to balance a fitness regime, a relationship, a family, work and hobbies - we can certainly feel burned out. This could be one reason we often crave the need to get some shut eye. But what are the other reasons?
Well, common reasons can be:
People who live with sleeping problems will undoubtedly struggle to keep their sleeping patterns to a healthy routine. Typical sleeping problems can be sleep apnea or narcolepsy. Sleep apnea is the condition where the person’s breathing is irregular during their sleep. With this on and off type of sleeping, the affected person might have trouble regulating their time of shut-eye and this could lead to oversleeping.
Narcolepsy on the other hand is a condition in which the person sleeps anywhere at any time - often inappropriately. This can lead to a drowsy feeling most of the time and as a result, the person can oversleep.
Other Physical or Psychological Impacts
It’s not just the sleeping disorders that can affect a person’s ability to sleep properly. Illnesses such as heart/respiratory disease, a problem with the thyroid or back injury can restrict the good night’s sleep.
Additionally, people who live with depression or anxiety can struggle with sleeping. The mind can often hinder your body’s need to get some much required sleep. Some medications can also do this for a wide array of issues.
But if our body and mind needs sleep - why is more sleep causing us to feel groggy?
The Reasons For Feeling So Bad
Oversleeping makes us feel like zombies. Completely groggy and just generally wrong. It’s almost like being hungover but without the alcohol!
Sleep consists of cycles. When these cycles are changed or messed with, your body and mind feels the effects. Basically, if you’ve woken up at the “wrong” time - the cycle has been disrupted and now you’re feeling lethargic with a broken body clock.
So What Can I Do About It?!
There are two ways to look at this. Prevention or treatment. Focussing on prevention is the better option, so let’s start there. If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, when you try to get up - you'll feel like you need to sleep some more. This is a pretty simple fix with a few life changes.
Ditch The Gadgets Before Bed
For a lot of us, we love to watch TV before bed. It can be a great way to relax after a hard day’s work and a way to socialise with friends or family. But screens are not your friend!
Studies show that the light coming from devices can seriously disrupt your sleep, as your mind is receiving the wrong message that you’re not ready for bed. The same rule applies for your smartphone, tablet and laptop.
Don’t get the wrong idea, it is perfectly natural to want to go through your social media whilst in your bed. But the longer you do that - the longer you’re awake… and that will mean losing out on some crucial sleep.
It’s better to have a hobby that doesn’t require a screen/light before bed. You could always pick up a book or try writing a diary. If you’re feeling particularly bored - maybe pick up some dumbbells or do some push-ups. That’s sure to get the sleepy feelings coming!
Diet And Exercise
It’s no secret that being fit is better than not being fit, but you may not know that the fitter you are - the better your chances of getting a great night's sleep are!
Numerous studies have indicated that getting regular exercise can help people who live with chronic sleeping disorders - so it’s worth giving it some thought.
Getting the right diet will also help with this and unfortunately, it does mean trying to avoid the booze before bed. Alcohol can affect the time taken to get to sleep initially and has detriment on the REM process - this is the most important part of sleep cycles.
So, if you oversleep (and let’s face it, you’re going to oversleep again one day!) what should you do to try and reduce the terrible feelings?
It is important to remain hydrated but more-so when you’re not feeling alert. Make sure you get enough water! It’s a good idea to keep a bottle at your bedside to sip when required - and finish it off in the morning.
Okay, sometimes we need some help to get us through the day. It’s a good idea to grab a cup of Joe or another drink with caffeine in it, to try and boost the focus and tick you through the day, Remember not to overdo it though, and keep hydrating with water too.
Get To Bed Early Tonight
You’ve overslept this time but so what? Get through the day and make it your goal to dive into bed a little earlier to try and sort things out.
What Else Could I Do?
A power shower in the morning is always a help. It hydrates and wakes you up - not to mention the added benefits of whatever soaps you’re using (some are packed with natural oils!) Natural oils can also be inhaled through candles.
One top tip is to get right out of bed as soon as that alarm goes off. Don’t hang around - you’ll feel worse.
Good luck and have a great sleep!