Long sleepers, or people who need more sleep than average in order to wake up feeling refreshed, have experienced the occasional night of extended sleep periods. But for those with long sleeper syndrome, long sleep duration is a regular thing. People of all ages can be lead to being identified as long sleepers. However, little is known about the true cause of this condition.
Long sleepers may not be aware that a condition is affecting their sleeping habits. The most common symptom is feeling refreshed after sleeping for more than 9 hours. Other potential symptoms include experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness if their long sleep periods are interrupted.
The true cause of long sleeping is unknown, but some conditions are associated with the need for long sleep duration. Hypersomnolence is a disorder that causes sufferers to suddenly fall asleep during the day, and is thought to be potentially related to long sleeping. Some research has suggested that genetics may play a role in long sleeping—co-sleeping has been found to increase the likelihood of long sleepers in family members.
In addition to long sleep duration being related to hypersomnolence, research has found that it is associated with a number of health conditions. MS, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes are some of the conditions thought to be associated with long sleepers. It is important to remember, however, that merely having long sleep duration does not necessarily mean a person has a health condition.
To diagnose long sleeping, a doctor or health care provider will want to satisfy criteria set by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. First, they will ask questions to determine if a person’s sleep duration is ‘abnormal’ compared to their peers. Then, they will check if the person feels refreshed after the extended sleep time. Finally, they may perform tests for other potential health conditions.
Presently, there is no specific treatment for long sleepers. However, lifestyle changes, such as maintaining regular sleep schedules, can be beneficial. In some cases, psychological counseling may be recommended. In extreme cases where untreated long sleeping leads to excessive daytime sleepiness, a doctor may prescribe stimulant medications.
Living with long sleeping can be challenging. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Be mindful of sleep hygiene. It is important to keep regular sleep schedules, as well as avoid technologically-based distractions (like smartphone screens) before bed.
- Remember to stay active. Exercise, light stretching, yoga and meditation can help you get better quality sleep.
- Invest in quality bedding and garments. Comfort is key for a good night's sleep.
- Construct a soothing sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, your mattress is supportive, and your temperature is just right.
- If you are having trouble sleeping for more than 10 hours a night, consider talking to a doctor.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If you or someone you know is experiencing excessive sleepiness despite having regular sleep patterns, it is important to talk to a doctor. A doctor can help to identify the cause and find treatments that can address lifestyle or potential underlying medical conditions. If you would like to talk to a doctor, Snoring Mouthpiece Review can help you find a sleep specialist in your area.