General Practice 2022

Too much sleep: what it can be (and what to do)

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Too much sleep: what it can be (and what to do)
Too much sleep: what it can be (and what to do)
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Feeling too sleepy, especially during the day, can be caused by several factors, the most common of which are sleeping little or poorly at night or working shifts, which can be overcome with good sleep habits.

However, there are other conditions or factors that can cause excessive sleep during the day and that should be seen by a doctor.

1. Insufficient sleep quantity and quality

When you sleep poorly at night or in insufficient amounts, sleep during the day is very common. It is believed that, in addition to stress and anxiety, sleepless nights are also a consequence of the use of television, computer and greater demands for working hours, studies and social commitments.

To overcome this problem, it is important to adopt routines and conditions that allow for a better quality and duration of sleep, so that the next day the person feels more active. Learn how to do good sleep hygiene.

2. Medical conditions

Neurological conditions such as depression, anxiety, narcolepsy or neurodegenerative diseases contribute to the change in the quality and quantity of sleep during the day. In addition, suffering from other medical conditions such as head trauma, stroke, cancer, hypothyroidism, inflammatory diseases, or anemia can also make a person more sleepy and tired during the day.

In these cases, it is important to directly treat the underlying cause of the disease.

3. Use of medication

Using certain medications, such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, lithium, antiparkinsonians, or cardiovascular medications, for example, can cause drowsiness, which is more noticeable during the day.

If the drowsiness is excessive, you should talk to the doctor to replace the medication, if possible and justified.

4. Consumption of substances that promote sleep

During the day consumption of foods and medicinal plants that promote sleep, such as passion fruit, valerian or lemon balm, for example, can make a person more relaxed and sleepy, which can compromise daily activities.

In these cases, you should avoid ingesting these substances during the day.

5. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea makes breathing difficult at night, which can lead to recurrent nighttime awakenings, feelings of unrestorative sleep, daytime fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can be done with the use of a special device and lifestyle changes. Learn more about treatment.

What excessive sleep can cause

As important as knowing what can cause sleep is knowing what excessive sleep can cause. Sleeping poorly or not sleeping can have serious he alth implications, so over the months, a lack of restful sleep can cause:

  • Lack or difficulty concentrating;
  • Low school or work performance;
  • Insulin resistance;
  • Stress and anxiety;
  • Increased risk of stroke, heart attack and sudden death;
  • Increased risk of road accidents;
  • Hypertension;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Obesity.

In addition, individuals who work shifts, over the years, still have an increased risk of developing some type of cancer in relation to people who have a work schedule considered conventional.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for excessive sleep depends on its cause. The doctor will be able to give some indications for the individual to have a good night's restful sleep and to be more alert during the day. In addition, it may also indicate the use of caffeine-based nervous system stimulant drugs, for example.

Some tips that can help the individual to remain in a good state of alertness during the day are to take a cold shower when waking up, consume stimulating foods such as coffee, black tea and ginger every 3 hours and keep the active mind during the day.

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