If you are over 65 and get a good night’s sleep every night and still tend to nod off during the day you may be at a higher risk of developing a serious illness like diabetes or cancer. A new study has shown that those who are unnecessarily falling asleep during the day are more prone to develop these conditions.
According to leading doctors, healthy people do not need to get extra sleep during the day. No matter what age you are, if you are able to get your 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night you shouldn’t need a top-up during the day. While older people tend to need a little bit of extra sleep they should be able to get this at night. Any excess sleeping during the day that is more than they require is not beneficial.
If you are over 65 and feel excessively sleepy during the day then this may indicate you have a medical condition called hypersomnolence. Hypersomnolence is defined as being sleepy even when you have had your required seven hours at night. If you are reading this and are someone who enjoys a day time nap, don’t be alarmed. You may just be lazy. A daytime nap is an easy habit to get into and if you train your body to get tired in the middle of the day it will get used to this pattern. Napping regularly is not a good way to get your required hours of sleep so try and get seven hours at night and cut out the naps. If you find that you are unable to get rid of the naps after weeks of trying, you may have a problem.
To be diagnosed with hypersomnolence you must show the symptoms mentioned above three times a week for around three months straight. Only then should you go see a doctor. This hypersomnolence is not dangerous in itself but people who have this disease appear more likely to suffer from many other problems. Those with hypersomnolence have been shown to have reduced memory and cognitive skills over time. A new study shows that it may be even worse than that.
A study that included around 4,000 U.S. participants with an average age of 73 found that around 23% of those studied had hypersomnolence. Comparing those with the condition to the other members of the survey, some startling results came out. Those with hypersomnolence were two and a half times more likely to develop diabetes, they were two times more like to develop cancer and a little over twice as likely to develop diabetes.
Before you start to worry, look at things more closely. The findings are only in those aged over 65 so if you are under that age barrier don’t worry. If you are in the age bracket, make sure that you are not any pills that make you sleepy during the day. If that is the cause of your sleepiness then again, you may have nothing to worry about. However, if daytime sleepiness is stopping you from doing your normal day-to-day activities and there is no good reason for it happening you should see your doctor.
While sleep is an incredibly important part of our lives and our overall health, excess sleep is likely our bodies trying to fix a problem. Even if you feel perfectly healthy you should see a doctor because sleeping too much is a potential indicator of something else being wrong. In younger people, it may be something like depression that forces you to sleep excessively. Whatever the cause, seek a professional’s assistance to get to the bottom of it and get help.