Just as food and water are essential for survival, getting the right amount of sleep each night is necessary for maintaining good physical and mental health. However, what about those who get too much or too little sleep? Can one become addicted to sleeping, or addicted to sleep deprivation? As it turns out, getting too much or too little sleep can pose more than a few severe risks to your physical and emotional well-being.
This article will cover topics like sleep deprivation symptoms, sleep addiction, and the importance of getting your full dose of high-quality sleep each night. We will also share a few methods and tools you can use to optimize your natural melatonin production and get your bedtime schedule back on track.
Sleep deprivation – or sleep deficiency – is a condition that can happen when individuals don’t get enough sleep. External demands such as work assignments, lifestyle choices, medical conditions, or even sleep disorders are often to blame.
The immediate symptoms of sleep deprivation may differ among children and adults, and the severity of symptoms can depend on the duration of sleeplessness. However, the symptoms of sleep deprivation generally include impaired cognitive and behavioral functioning, decreased productivity, mood swings, a strained or weakened immune system, and an increased risk of accidents, to name a few.
Sleep deprivation symptoms can be serious, but getting 7 to 8 hours of solid, high-quality sleep each night is your best defense for avoiding potentially significant health problems.
If you’ve ever seen someone power through the night to study for an exam or prepare for a big presentation, you may wonder if sleep deprivation could have some helpful applications in specific situations. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Even though an occasional “all-nighter” is something some people experience, it’s important to remember that even these seemingly “normal” situations are still extremely taxing on the mind and body. In these situations, it is imperative for the body to make up for lost sleep. If not, sleep deprivation symptoms may begin to take effect.
When an individual is sleep deprived, they will typically experience feelings of anxiety, panic, irritability, aggression, and sometimes even hallucinations and delirium. This is why some thrill-seeking individuals may attempt to alter their consciousness by depriving themselves of sleep. However, sleep deprivation cases like these often lead to episodes of intense psychosis and dissociation from reality which poses a danger to the sleep-deprived person and those around them.
In short, although some vulnerable or at-risk individuals may intentionally deprive themselves of sleep to experience these symptoms – like those who struggle with substance abuse, addiction, or mental health issues, for example – it’s important to remember sleep deprivation is extremely destructive to the mind and body and should be avoided when possible.
While many of us feel we could use an extra hour or two to sleep in on the weekends, hypersomnia – sometimes called “long sleeping” or “sleep addiction” – is a more serious sleep disorder that can cause significant disruptions to daily life.
Although oversleeping doesn’t currently meet the criteria for classification as an “addiction”, hypersomnia is a term that is used to describe people who compulsively oversleep. Symptoms of sleep addiction may include an intense desire to stay in bed all day or excessive daytime sleepiness even after getting plenty of rest.
Chronic oversleeping can cause severe imbalances in your circadian rhythm, and may lead to long-term chronic sleep issues or other health problems.
Hypersomnia, the opposite of insomnia, is a term that is used to describe compulsive oversleeping or feelings of sleep addiction.
Symptoms of sleep addiction may include sleeping for a very long time, an intense desire to stay in bed all day, or excessive daytime sleepiness even after getting plenty of sleep. While the cause of excessive sleepiness can vary from person to person, those who have been diagnosed report a wide range of side effects ranging from low energy, brain fog, irritability, and fatigue, to name a few.
Although sleep studies are ongoing, we do know that disruptions to the body’s circadian rhythm and natural sleep-wake cycles can negatively impact our immune system, digestive health, and more. Therefore, getting too much sleep could potentially lead to some similar circadian rhythm problems as not getting enough sleep for some individuals.
Whether sleep problems occur as you fall asleep, or you struggle most with getting up in the morning, here are a few tips you can try to help get your sleep schedule back on track.
1. Set a Sleep Schedule
Setting a sleep schedule may seem like a piece of advice that’s easier said than done. However, staying consistent with bedtimes and wake-up times can help you quickly reset your body clock with little effort. Simply going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is great for resetting your circadian rhythm.
2. Don’t Consume Alcohol or Caffeine Before Bed
Consuming alcohol or caffeine before bed can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it hard to get adequate rest. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol at least 4 hours before bed can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
3. Avoid Blue-Light
Since light controls the circadian rhythm, it’s important to avoid blue-light emitting devices at night and dim indoor lights to a warmer setting if possible. Likewise, allowing natural light to enter the room in the morning, or using a sunrise alarm clock, can help you balance and reset your circadian rhythm.
4. Sleep Glasses
Sleep glasses like those created by OcuSleep™, are a clinically proven method used to help balance the circadian rhythm with the same light spectrum that controls sleep. When you wear sleep glasses in the evening hours leading up to bedtime, a specialized orange-amber tinted lens blocks out the blue-green light wavelengths that prevent the release of melatonin, so you can start feeling sleepy at the appropriate time.
Healthy sleeping patterns begin with a balanced circadian rhythm. If the body clock gets out of balance, you’re likely experience problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up naturally.
Unfortunately, the biggest culprit for knocking our circadian rhythms out of balance is over-exposure to blue-light-emitting devices before bed. The blue light wavelengths from LEDs, phones, computers, and TVs send signals to our brains that it’s time to be alert and awake which can negatively impact our sleeping patterns. Luckily, OcuSleep™ can help.
OcuSleep™ sleep glasses were designed by eye doctors to help you balance your circadian rhythm and get better sleep. OcuSleep™ sleep glasses are comfortable, fashionable, and clinically proven to help balance sleep patterns naturally. Order Ocusleep™ sleep glasses today to experience better, balanced, and more natural sleep cycles in as soon as 2 weeks.