When sleepiness signals a health problem, Dr. Nandi explains what to look out for

Posted at 5:20 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-01 17:20:56-04

Experts say a frequent desire to nap or sleep late could be a sign of a health problem. 

According to the experts, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is needed on average every night, to keep our minds alert and our bodies healthy. Many people aren't getting enough.

n the United States, for example, half the population sleeps less than seven hours during the week, according to the 2013 International Bedroom Poll. To make amends, many of us resort to catching up when circumstances allow, whether it's sleeping in on weekends or napping during the day.

But this catch-up can have its own impact on your body, and when the catch up becomes too much, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Consistent sleep is BEST. Sleep takes place in cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow-wave sleep (non-REM sleep) that alternate in approximately 90-minute cycles. Binge sleeping  on the weekends and sleeping until noon is a break from consistency that leads to further disruption of our sleep cycles.

The extra hours of sleep, but more important the later time of awakening, on weekends leads to confusion and displacement in the body when people return to their weekday routine. 

If you're getting up at 6 a.m. and then noon, that's the equivalent of  Michigan to  Europe " in time zones, he says.

The daytime nap can do wonders to improve alertness, performance and overall mood -- and for many, it offers a moment of relaxation. Naps of only 20 to 30 minutes are recommended by the U.S. National Sleep Foundation, to avoid grogginess and disruption of night sleep.  

"It would be better not to get sleep-deprived in the first place, THO "  "However, once you are there naps can help a lot." But the desire to nap every day, despite having had a good night's sleep, could be a sign of something more serious." Habitual daytime naps are more likely to be indicative of sleep deficiency, chronic... disruption or a disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, depression or cancer,"

Partha’s RX on Good Sleep Habits
1.  It's worth paying attention to the hours you spend sleeping, and in bed, as a means of monitoring and maintaining your health and wellbeing.

2.  Duration, timing and quality of sleep are the key factors 3. Keep consistent sleep  cycles so you do not  disrupt sleep integrity, meaning people miss vital moments in their sleep cycle, such as REM cycles.

4. Its Best NOT to let yourself get sleep deprived in the FIRST place! So you don't need the nap or binge sleep on the weekends.

5. If you are getting plenty of nigh-time sleep but still have  the desire to nap every day c ould be a sign of something more serious so please consult your physician.

Once you've paid back your deficiency, you can't really oversleep. You  may be in bed for 14 hours, but you're only really sleeping for eight hours. Unless you are sick of course, if you are sick you could require more to help your immune system get back on track!