why do you get a headache after sleeping too long
It's because of Sleep Stages that we all have. Basically, you do not sleep the same all the time. There are different classifications, but most people agree that there are either 4 or 5 stages of sleep. (http://www. dreamviews. com/sleepstages. php) The deeper stages are NON-REM, deep sleep where the body recovers. You cycle between stages, as this graph shows. (http://www. dreamviews. com/sleepstages. php)
Looking at the graph you can see that you initially drop down into the deepest stage of sleep. But this does not happen right away - you step down through the stages of sleep until you reach the deepest stage. This is VERY important if you are going to take a nap. In this case, you do NOT want to enter the deep sleep stages (the red areas on the graph). How long it takes to reach deep sleep varies by individual, but a safe rule of thumb is 20 minutes: if you sleep less than 20 minutes, you will not be awakened from deep sleep. Being awakened from a deep sleep stage is what causes you to feel like crap.
Your body thought that it had enough time to enter the serious recuperative stage of sleep, and now you are forcing it awake. Ouch. A better plan: if you plan to nap, set an alarm for twenty minutes after you lay down. That way you will not enter deep sleep, and you will actually feel refreshed after your nap. Adjust this time as necessary: I know people who can sleep for 40 minutes and wake up refreshed; YMMV. As for oversleeping, it's essentially the same thing. Your body completes the normal sleep cycle (with lots of light, REM-sleep at the end), and you do not wake up. Eventually your body decides to enter another sleep cycle, and then you wake it up during a deep sleep stage. Again, ouch. Waking up from a deep-sleep stage makes you feel horrible. That's it in a nutshell. Why do I know all this? Because I've flown airplanes all around the world for 15 years, and fatigue studies are part of the deal. Short, monitored naps are actually encouraged on long flights to helps pilots maintain their alertness.
Hope this helps. I am a 36 yr old male and have had these sleep headaches for the last 16 years now and they have been getting gradually worse. I ve had an MRI scan 4 yrs ago of my brain turned out totally normal. I ve had a brain EEG around the same time again I m normal. Six years ago I had 40 sessions of Bioneurofeedback training and he said there was something a little non-normal about my brain waves. He told me: We all have certain brainwaves that we use throughout the day and night. Some we use for during the awake hours and some we use for the asleep time. He said, talking to me as he was measuring my brainwaves in real time as he was talking to me that basically I was using the sleep-type theta and alpha brainwaves to function during my awake hours. He said a normal healthy person uses a much higher ratio of Beta brainwaves to the other brainwaves during the awake day hours.
I have no idea of the implications of that but just wanted to share. I also might have another gem of information that might benefit somebody. I recently found out that I have a chronic Candida infection. I have all the symptoms. I recently talked with a top university physiologist and picked his brain on what my sleep problem could be given my symptoms and diagnosed problems. He said the only thing he could think of is that if I really did have a candida infection inside me that constantly spews out toxins into my body then the headaches that come from sleeping more than 5 to 6 hours a day might be explained by how the kidneys function. The kidneys and liver are there to filter and clean the blood from poisons and toxins. He said, when you sleep the kidneys kind of rest, or they don t filter as much as when you are awake (which makes sense because your heart rate slows and therefore less blood is pumped through the kidneys to be cleaned).
So basically the body can t deal with the toxins as effectively during sleep as it can while you re awake because there is less filtering going on when your heart slows. I don t know if I believe that but I know it is the only possible explanation I ve come across in the 7 years I ve been actively looking for answers on this issue. Dozens of doctors tell me there is no proven case of candida infection in anyone. If that s the case then why can t I get rid of a fungal infection that has been on my feet since the age of 4 yrs old? Why can t I get rid of the toenail and fingernail fungus with rounds of medication both pill and cream? Why is it that my symptoms get 5 times better when I cut the sugar and breads and starches and fruits out of my diet? Candida is the only thing that can be attributed to all these things that I know of so far. I d like to be wrong but so far no other possible explanations from any doctor or even another person. maybe this is all our problem?
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