September 17, 2020
You went to bed at 9 p.m. and slept through your 8 a.m. alarm. When you finally wake up after 12 hours of rest, you expect to feel rested, but instead are groggy and can’t get going. Shouldn’t you be full of energy after that much sleep?
Everyone knows that too little sleep can leave you on the brink of exhaustion. But swinging too far in the other direction isn’t good either; you really can get too much sleep. If you’re tired of hitting the snooze button repeatedly in the morning – and still feeling exhausted when you finally get out of bed – here’s what you need to know to wake up ready to go each morning.
It turns out the oft-repeated maxim about eight hours of sleep isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all solution. Most people need around that many hours, but the exact amount of sleep you need to feel rested varies by person. It’s important to adjust your sleep schedule to match your body’s personal needs, including bed times and waking times that account for whether you are a night owl or an early riser.
Even more important is to keep your sleep patterns consistent. Deviating from whatever your normal sleep schedule is – whether it’s due to a new shift at work, overnight travel, or some other cause – leaves your body feeling disoriented. Trying to “catch up” on sleep after being sleep-deprived results in a groggy morning no matter how long you rest, all because you are disrupting your body’s schedule.
You can’t catch up on missed sleep no matter how hard you try. But, there is such a thing as a right way to sleep, and good hygiene in this regard ensures you wake up bright-eyed and ready to face whatever the day has in store.
Each person has a circadian rhythm, a tiny clock inside the body that regulates when you feel sleepy or not. The rhythm has cycles of deep and light sleep, the latter of which are easier to wake from. Good sleep hygiene involves preparing for sleep by decompressing and conducting sleep in a quiet, relaxing environment. That allows the cycle to run its course uninterrupted throughout the night.
Waking up groggy is a sign that you have disrupted that internal clock. Sleeping too long is a major cause for this – extending a night’s sleep out to 10 or more hours increases the odds that you wake from a deep sleep cycle, leaving you feeling groggy and your body confused.
Excessive sleeping can also be a symptom of more serious problems, such as depression, diabetes, or a sleep disorder. If you’re routinely sleeping more than nine hours a night, waking up groggy, and you can’t figure out why, it’s worth seeing a doctor to identify a cause.
More often than not, though, it’s a function of taking your sleeping hours as seriously as your waking ones. Prepare for a night’s sleep, set your alarm, and try to get around eight hours of sleep. If you keep those things consistent, you’ll be amazed how much more often you wake feeling refreshed and energetic.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have, or suspect that you have, a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.