Ever wonder why you feel so groggy after waking up from a nap that was supposed to be 20 minutes but ended up being 2 hours? You’ve probably had the idea that taking a 2 hour nap between classes would leave you motivated for your next class, but instead find it hard to wake up from the nap because you’re still too tired.
You may find it surprising that getting more sleep than you need can leave you feeling fatigued and unmotivated. Research from Harvard Medical School has shown that oversleeping causes the disruption of normal sleep patterns and can upset the body’s rhythms and increase daytime fatigue. This could be the reason why you feel the need to order that second cup of joe in the middle of the day.
Sticking to one sleep schedule, even on weekends and your other days off, can be the best solution for the daytime grogginess you’ve been feeling. Like mentioned previously, oftentimes people still feel tired after waking up from a nap. This is because many times, people wake up during either the third, fourth or fifth sleep cycle.
The average person goes through five sleep cycles per night. While the first two are the easiest to wake up from, the last three are the most difficult. This explains why short “power naps” are more effective than longer ones. The more you sleep, the more you risk waking up during one of the later sleep cycles, which will leave you feeling more tired than rested.
For those of us who live a fast life and are always on the go, catching extra hours of sleep whenever we can never felt like an issue. Turns out getting more sleep than we need not only makes us more tired, but also has negative impacts on our health. Headaches, obesity, diabetes, back pain and heart disease can all result from sleeping too much. More sleep means less physical activity, which makes us prone to any of these complications.
Some tips to help prevent oversleeping are to keep a sleep diary so you can track your sleep habits, create a comfortable and ideal sleep environment and put your electronic devices on “do not disturb,” or power them off altogether. Also, try decreasing your caffeine intake, especially if it’s after 12 p.m.
Exercising before bed can also tire your body, making it easier for you to fall asleep. A study found in the December issue of the journal, “Mental Health and Physical Activity,” showed that those who exercise felt less sleepy during the day than those who don’t. It’s important to remember that excessive sleepiness or oversleeping can be a symptom of an underlying condition and should be taken seriously.
The quality and the quantity of sleep you receive is critical to your health, so make sure you are taking care of your body and sleeping just the right amount!