Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question: 12 Hours of Sleep?

Question asked:

I used to sleep 8 hours every night. Now I'm sleeping around 11 to 12 hours for the past 2 months. am I dying?


As you didn’t give too much information about your age or anything, I will try to cover as much as possible that could deal with why you are sleeping more hours than what seems normal for you.

As stated before growth is a huge deal when dealing with sleep. We do not fully understand why we sleep, but a lot is theorized that one possibility is the reason of growth. This is because of many different types of neurotransmitters are directly linked in either being used or produced during our sleeping state. One of those main neurotransmitters is GABA which is important to the activation of our pituitary gland, a gland that is very involved in hormones as well as growth. Many bodybuilders take large amounts of GABA in order to support their brains in the production of GABA and result in more growth.

Time of Year-

Depending if you live in a highly sunny area or a different part of the world where it’s not dark the majority of the day, you may be experiencing an over active production of melatonin. Melatonin acts as an activator for sleep, its theorized to be one of the main reasons you feel drowsy at night. The production of melatonin is light sensitive because of the gland in which produces it will not produce it if light is sensed. This is because humans are meant to sleep at night, or during dark times.


Along with time of year, depression seems to be a common factor for people who sleep more hours than the average person. Many anti-depressants proscribed today act on neurotransmitters receptors that deal with serotonin. Serotonin much like GABA is a neurotransmitter that deals greatly in our sleep function, and is theorized to be something greatly involved in the memories of our dreams as well as a REM (as stage of sleep) inhibitor. If someone’s natural production of serotonin is dysfunctional (say because of depression) then REM deactivation could be lost during sleep causing the sleeper to not get adequate NREM (non-REM) sleep which includes deep sleep. The person experiencing this loss could experience a need to sleep more in order to obtain the adequate amount or deep sleep.

These are just a few of the possible reasons you could be experiencing a need to sleep more than the average person. If these symptoms continue you should consult a doctor because abnormities in sleep is serious business when dealing with the human body.


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