Getting plenty of sleep should help you to feel well rested and not wake up with a headache, right? So, why does my head hurt when I get too much sleep? We go to sleep to refresh ourselves, to heal our bodies, and to replenish our energy levels. When you wake up with a headache, you may wonder what you’ve done wrong. That’s especially true when someone gets a lot of sleep but still wakes up feeling lousy.
Oversleeping can cause headaches just like under sleeping can, and I want to share with you why that is.
What Causes Oversleeping?
I think it’s important to consider why you might be oversleeping. That can help you to answer the question of: “Why does my head hurt when I sleep too much?”
Oversleeping can be caused by overtiredness, a lack of exercise, staying up too late, a poor sleep schedule, or having your sleep disturbed during the night. Often, oversleeping doesn’t mean that you got more sleep than usual. It may just mean that you went to bed later or that you tossed and turned during the night and that your body needed to wake up at a later time than usual.
So, oversleeping can really mean that you’re suffering from a lack of sleep. Of course, if you don’t get enough sleep, that can cause the headache. A headache can be your body’s way of telling you that you need to lie down and rest.
Getting too much sleep can also cause a headache. How does that happen?
When you sleep more than you should or more than you regularly do, that can mess with your serotonin levels. Your body can feel like it is out of its natural rhythm and your sleep schedule can be disturbed. Oversleeping does all of that to you, and with these kind of issues, it’s not abnormal to expect a headache to follow.
Any time that you are on an irregular sleep schedule, your body is going to suffer. You may be getting not enough sleep or too much sleep, and you can still end up with a headache.
A Poor Sleeping Position
Why does my neck and head hurt when I sleep too much? You could be sleeping in the wrong position, with your neck at a bad angle. This is especially common for people who sleep on their stomach. Their head maybe too elevated while they sleep on their stomach, and it’s a good idea to completely eliminate the pillow if you’re in this sleeping position.
If you sleep on your stomach and have your head on a pillow, that can elevate your neck at a bad angle that makes it feel uncomfortable. Sleeping like this for long periods of time can cause severe neck pain. You may also suffer from a headache because of poor sleep positioning.
The solution is either to get rid of the pillow completely or use a smaller pillow that’s not as high. Because of the way your body is positioned when you sleep on your stomach, you could be placing undue stress on your neck, head, and spinal cord. You may have to make some adjustments to your head elevation when you sleep in this position or, you can simply change positions and sleep on your side or your back.
Sleeping on your side is great for your posture, as it can help to align and straighten your spine. This is probably the best position for good neck and back posture and to reduce neck and back pain.
You could sleep on your back as well, but you may want to elevate your knees and lower legs as you do that. Simply slipping a small pillow under your knees while sleeping on your back will help to reduce stress on your spine. This can help avoid neck pain and back pain when you wake up. If you slept on your back before and had trouble with your back or neck in the morning, try this little change and see if putting the pillow under your knees makes a difference for you.
Oversleeping can cause you discomfort when you wake up. You might not have been aware that you were in an awkward and uncomfortable position while you slept. Being overtired and then going to sleep can mean that you’ll sleep in extra, and it can also mean that you’ll wake up in pain. Where normally you might be woken up by an uncomfortable sleeping position, that might not be the case if you’re overtired and end up oversleeping.
How to Avoid Oversleeping
The simplest way to put a stop to oversleeping is to set an alarm. That may not solve the root problem, though. Most people oversleep because they don’t go to bed at a decent time or don’t have a regular sleep schedule. Changing around your sleep hours so that you go to bed at a specific time and get up at a specific time each day will do wonders for how long you sleep. You’ll be much less likely to sleep in. You also wake up more refreshed and energized and feel less fatigued throughout the day.
If oversleeping is a regular problem for you and a new sleep routine doesn’t help, there will be some other changes you need to make. You should ensure that you’re getting enough sleep each night. It’s recommended that most people get somewhere between six and nine hours of sleep every evening.
It can also help to make sure you get enough physical activity throughout the day. Exercising about two hours before you go to bed can help you to sleep soundly. It also ensures that you fall asleep faster, so you spend less time lying awake in bed.
Anything that keeps you up late at night can make it difficult for you to wake up at a reasonable time in the morning. Try to eliminate screens from your bedroom about an hour before you go to bed. This can help you get on a more regular sleep schedule and ensure that you fall asleep faster.
Try to do something relaxing before you go to bed as well, like take a warm bath, drink some hot tea, stretch a little, or just have some quiet time. All of these things can help to calm your nerves, reducing tension in your body and easing you into sleep mode. You’ll spend less time fidgeting in your sleep and will fall asleep faster.
Don’t Rule Out Medical Conditions
You should also consider that you may have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. These kinds of conditions can keep you awake during the night or make it difficult for you to fall asleep. You can end up oversleeping and not feeling very good when you wake up.
Any kind of sleep disorder you may suffer from needs to be discussed with your doctor. The medical professional may be able to treat your disorder and help you sleep better. There may be some medication or lifestyle changes that will help you to move past the sleep disorder and to feel better when you wake up.
Some sleep problems can’t be fixed simply by changing up your sleep schedule and exercising or changing your sleep position. Sometimes, professional medical treatment is required to improve your sleep cycle. Conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea can be very serious, lowering your quality of life and even shortening your lifespan. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from one of these.