There are many different factors that can explain our sleeping problems. Feeling excessively tired can be the symptom of an illness or simply the logical consequence of not getting enough sleep.
We talk about too much sleep when someone sleeps outside the hours that are intended for rest or someone who sleeps more than eight hours. In addition, drowsiness should not be confused with fatigue or apathy resulting from a lack of physical or mental activities. On the other hand, depression or a period of high stress can motivate the feeling of constant fatigue.
Sleep-related illnesses, also called sleep disorders, can cause drowsiness. These include hypersomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia, or Kleine-Levin syndrome. Of these examples, the disorders associated with extreme sleepiness are hypersomnia, narcolepsy, and Kleine-Levin syndrome, also known as “ sleeping beauty syndrome”.
Hypersomnia is divided into several groups, but they all refer to the problem of sleeping too much during the day. This condition is not prevented by nighttime sleep. People with hypersomnia can rest all night without major problems.
The dreams experienced by people with hypersomnia tend to be monotonous situations where the stimulation is relatively low. Examples of these types of dreams are work conferences or meetings or going to the cinema. This daytime nap is not restorative, so people with hypersomnia are often frustrated by their inability to feel rested.
Kleine-Levin syndrome is a type of recurrent hypersomnia. This syndrome is quite rare and affects men more than women. It causes periods of extreme sleep 1 to 10 times a year. These periods can last for days or weeks. Those who suffer from Kleine-Levin syndrome can sleep as long as 16 to 18 hours.
Narcolepsy patients quickly move from the wakeful phase of sleep to the REM phase of sleep, so they suffer from “sleep attacks” in unexpected situations. After these naps, although these naps are restorative, the need for sleep reoccurs 2 or 3 hours later. This need to sleep is very dangerous because narcolepsy patients can fall asleep while walking or driving.
Strategies to Prevent or Relieve Symptoms
As soon as you notice that you have an abnormal need for sleep, you should first consult a specialist. You should also be familiar with good sleep habits, whether or not you suffer from a sleep disorder. Here are some guidelines we can follow:
- Drink plenty of water. Poor hydration makes you feel more tired. If we really suffer from a sleep disorder, we should not aggravate it with dehydration. In addition, this habit helps the whole body to function better.
- Get away from stress. Situations that create stress affect our quality of rest. When we’re stressed, we may feel like we’ve had hours of deep sleep. However, we only had a very light rest.
- Surround yourself with positive emotions. Negative emotions create fatigue and affect our bodies in many other ways. When we are depressed or upset, we just want to sleep.
- Create healthy patterns. A good method of controlling our sleep is to maintain a strict routine. Go to bed at the same time, avoid long naps during the day, and get plenty of sleep at night. In this way, our circadian rhythms will be in perfect health.
We believe that different conditions in our environment can alter our sleep patterns. Our sleep problems are not always an indicator of illness. Our resting habits are constantly changing, depending on our age, our habits and our environment. That is why we should consult a specialist and apply the strategies mentioned in this article before we start to feel anxious.