General Question

syz's avatar

Why does too much sleep make me feel worse than not enough?

Asked by syz (35597points) June 23rd, 2010

Is it my brain? My circadian rhythm? Why does sleeping too much make me feel even more tired and groggy and unwilling to get up?

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10 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Actually, what is probably happening is that when you sleep longer than usual, you wake up during a different part of the sleep cycle, which can make you feel groggy. In fact, people who awaken during REM sleep, sometimes experience the REM paralysis (which kept our ancestors from falling out of trees while dreaming) as a terrible paralyzing pressure, and deaths have been known to occur in cultures which interpret the feeling as the work of demons or witches (See “The Spirit Catches You And Then You Fall Down”, about Hmong immigrants in Fresno.)

earthduzt's avatar

Truly restorative sleep comes from sleep quality not quantity. Your body tries to compensate poor quality sleep by extending sleep duration. Good sleep quality comes from good sleep habits and lifestyle habits. Excellent sleep quality will leave you feeling refreshed/energetic after only 6 or 7 hours of sleep. Studies have show that people who have good sleep quality and sleep 6–7 hours have a longer life span than those that sleep 8–10 hour or those that sleep 4–5 hours

syz's avatar

@dpworkin
But if I’m waking naturally (no outside influence), wouldn’t I be waking during a natural cycle? (Haven’t reviewed sleep cycles and brain waves in a while.) And when I am awakened by an outside influence (the doorbell, the cat puking, an alarm), I am relatively alert.
@earthduzt
My sleep quality seems just fine, and yet I never wake feeling “energetic”. (I often envy, err, resent, my dog for waking up and bouncing about like a ping pong ball). But what I’m talking about here are those occasions when I “sleep in” or take a nap.

dpworkin's avatar

I think if you are in a deep enough sleep (and I believe this is happening to you in a non-REM deep-sleep cycle) you may not have been conscious of the disturbance which awakened you – you just wake up feeling lousy. When you are able to remember the doorbell, the cat, etc. you were in a lighter non-REM sleep cycle.

mandybookworm's avatar

Perhaps you have a very rare disorder called Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. You could also have Sleep Apnea which is when you stop breathing for short periods of time while you are sleeping. Either way, You should contact your doctor about this issue. The problem might not be because of what time you wake up, it may very well be a problem that occurs while you are sleeping.

zophu's avatar

Yeah, it sounds like you’re not sleeping healthily. It’s normal to feel a little drowsy after sleeping for an unusually long time, but not sick. Unless I’m over-reading what you’re saying. can you overread something? i need to get some sleep.

dpworkin's avatar

I neglected to ask you if this is a frequent phenomenon. I was speaking about something which might occur very occasionally. If this happens with any frequency, I suggest asking your primary care physician for a referral to a sleep lab.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve always been the same way. If I oversleep I wake up with a horrible headache. I finally was able to link it together with food. I know I get headaches when I go a long time without eating. So if I have dinner at 6 pm and I go to bed at 12 but don’t get up till 9 am than I’ve gone 15 hours without food. I find after a while I will usually feel better after I eat. I think its just low blood sugar levels and also a lack of fluids. I also know I will still wake up slightly after 7 hours of sleep but if I’m too tired I will stay in bed. At least in the weekends. But I force myself up most of the time if I know it will be too long before I eat again. And I’m sure to drink water before I go to bed. Waking up dehydrated will also give me a headache.

fightfightfight's avatar

I don’t know..it usually makes me feel better. Actually, if you are feeling extreme dread or overcome with worriness, you won’t feel better even if you do manage to get alot of sleep.

MaryW's avatar

When you nap try napping with the light on so your body knows it is a nap and adjusts the deepness of your sleep. You should awaken refreshed then.

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