Sisterhood Agenda

Hypersomnia is More Common Than You Think

Carline

An advocate for women's empowerment, supporting women and girls.
Carline

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Have you ever felt like you slept soundly the entire night but when you wake up, even without doing any physical effort, you already feel exhausted?

Hypersomnia affects 40% of the population according to the National Sleep Foundation.

If you’ve slept 7-8 hours and you still have trouble staying awake during the day, you might have hypersomnia.

Hypersomnia symptoms include prolonged nighttime sleep, fatigue, and excessive sleeping during the day.

Growing up, we were taught that adults should get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. According to sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, you can actually get too much sleep.

Some people only need 6 hours of sleep and they feel refreshed upon waking up, while some people sleep for 8 hours and feel like they needed more.

Hypersomnia can occur even if you think you’ve slept soundly for a long period of time. You may think you’ve had a good night’s sleep but your night does not always include a high-quality deep sleep.

So, how do we get quality sleep? You can do so with these tips.

Don’t mess your body clock by sleeping in on weekends. 

Try to sleep and wake up the same time every day. This optimizes the quality of sleep. Getting quality sleep means you don’t need an alarm clock to wake you up.

Do you remember the saying: “Early to bed, early to rise”?  Sleeping in on weekends disrupts your sleeping pattern.  Instead, try a daytime nap, especially if you went out partying the night before.

Nap wisely.

Limit your naps for 20-30 minutes early in the afternoon so you won’t have a hard time getting to sleep at night.

Mind your light exposure.

Light exposure affects the hormone melatonin which is controlled by light exposure, Melatonin is in charge of your sleeping pattern.

Furthermore, when it’s dark outside, the brain secretes more Melatonin.  When it’s bright outside, it signals the brain that it should be awake.

  • Have fun with Mister Sun! Expose yourself to sunlight as much as possible in the morning; the closer it is to the time you woke up, the better. Have breakfast at a sunny window or do a morning walk. The light should be touching your face.
  • Let the sunshine in!  Let the sunlight in your home and in your working space. The more sunlight you see in the morning the more melatonin your brain will produce.
  • Turn off your devices 1-2 hours before bed.  If this is a very difficult task, you can install a light disrupting app from your phone.

Exercise.

The more vigorous your exercise, the deeper you sleep at night. If you can’t do vigorous exercise, walking for 10-3o minutes would make a huge difference.

Watch what you eat and drink.

  • Limit your caffeine intake.  Caffeine can affect your sleep even if you’ve taken it 10-12 hours before bed.
  • Keep your stomach empty 2 hours before bed. Not only does a full stomach disrupt sleep but it is the primary cause of heartburn.
  • Avoid alcohol if you’re planning to sleep well.  Alcohol disrupts Rapid Eye Emovement (REM) sleep, the type of sleep that is needed for restoration and rejuvenation. Limit alchol to 1 or 2 glasses or even better, drink no alcohol at all.
  • Cut back on sugary drinks and food. Although it might be tempting to drink sweetened hot cocoa before bed, it will spike your sugar levels which would disrupt your sleep.  You may not reach REM sleep.

So what causes hypersomnia?  There are several causes of Hypersomnia such as:

  • Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Shifting schedules
  • Fatigue and burnout
  • Poor lifestyle
  • Lack of motivation
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • A side-effect to a medication

If you think you may have hypersomnia, check out the symptoms and causes that we provided, you may also incorporate the tips.  We acquired this information through factual research but it is better if you would ask your doctor or a sleep specialist about it before jumping to any conclusions.  Make sure you get a professional opinion, especially if it is affecting your daily life.


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