Sleeping all day and still tired? 5 Things causing your fatigue

January 28, 2021 4 mins read
Sleeping all day and still tired? 5 Things causing your fatigue

A night of tossing and turning can either have you reaching for a strong cup of coffee or sleeping all day. Put a string of sleepless nights together, and the debilitating effects of fatigue can start to set in.

So how do you know what’s causing your oversleeping? Let’s explore.

Is oversleeping a problem?

Put simply, yes. Oversleeping is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Like insomnia, oversleeping is a sign of underlying issues that are affecting you. It can be a sign of mental health issues like depression, anxiety or emotional fatigue. It can also be linked to a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea or hypersomnia.

When you spend too much time sleeping, you put your health at risk. Diabetes, heart disease and metabolic problems are some of the physical health risks which present themselves. Cognitive problems include difficulty with memory and a low mood.

5 Reasons you’re sleeping all day

Some people don’t consider sleeping the whole day a major cause for concern. But if you’re oversleeping all the time and it’s preventing you from leading a full life, it may be time to look into what the cause is and to deal with it swiftly.

1. Emotional fatigue

Do you feel emotionally drained, and overwhelmed with life? Add exhaustion, and you likely have emotional fatigue. This can build up over a long time and affect your relationships, behaviour, outlook on life, and your sleeping habits.

It is linked to stress. Usually, the main contributors are financial strain, working long hours, juggling work, family and school, living with or caring for someone who has a chronic medical condition. This is known as compassion fatigue. When you’re emotionally exhausted, it can be almost impossible to follow a regular sleep pattern. You can feel tired and have difficulty falling asleep. You may tend to oversleep the next day to make up for your lack of sleep the previous night.

2. Anxiety fatigue

Doctors have found a link between anxiety and fatigue. When you feel like you can’t cope with life or challenges you may face, then your body’s reaction can lean towards tiredness. Think of it as a coping mechanism to deal with severe stress.

Being fatigued can also lead to sleeping all day in a bid to escape your reality. Anxiety fatigue can also affect your energy levels. This happens when the stress hormone cortisol is released, and when it dips again, you can feel exhausted and want to sleep in to restore your energy levels.

3. Sleep debt

You want to sleep enough, but a heavy workload, a thriving social life might get in the way of getting the correct amount of z’s. By the time the weekend rolls by, you spend it sleeping in, trying to catch up on your accumulated sleep debt. This can spill over into sleeping all day and if it becomes a regular occurrence, it could lead to some serious health issues, like diabetes, more stress and heart conditions.

4. Hypersomnia

If you’ve found that you’re frequently sleeping all day, it may be time to see a sleep specialist to rule out hypersomnia. It is a sleep-wake disorder where you feel an overwhelming desire to sleep, day or night. You might sleep for 10 hours and when you wake up, still feel sleepy. Hypersomnia could be behind your excessive sleeping, and it is usually brought on by insomnia, sleep deprivation, using recreational drugs or a change in medication.

5. Depression

Depression and oversleeping go hand-in-hand. When you’re feeling sad and anxious, one of the body’s coping mechanisms is sleep. Studies show that about 15% of people with depression sleep too much. Low moods, sadness and frustration, can change sleep patterns, making you feel like sleeping or napping throughout the day.

It’s important to get a diagnosis from a doctor if you suspect that you are depressed. Your doctor can help treat the depression and the symptoms linked to it, such as oversleeping.

How many hours of sleep do we need?

On average, adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night to enjoy its restorative and regenerative benefits. When you get enough sleep, your body can generate new cells, mend old ones, and boost your immune system by producing T-cells which fight off viruses and illnesses. Sleep is also a way for the mind to process new information and consolidate memories.

While sleep is good for you – Shakespeare called it a healing balm for the mind and body – too much of a good thing can have detrimental effects on your short and long-term health. Going beyond the required amount of sleep can lead to chronic fatigue, metabolic problems, inflammation and other severe consequences such as heart disease.

Sleeping all day might sound like a good way to relieve fatigue, but after a while, it may point to underlying conditions that a medical professional should check out. Your sleep health comes first and ensuring that it’s at its best should be your priority.