A pattern can be challenging to break, mainly if you’ve been doing it for years. Yet, there are specific items you can do to break the habit of oversleeping and start getting better sleep (and less of it).
We all know that some habits take more time to break than others, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t notice immediate results.
The good news is that various techniques are available to help you combat oversleeping, including keeping a sleep journal, developing a nightly routine, and modifying the type of alarm clock you use.
To help prevent the urge to oversleep, we’ve listed a few suggestions that can help you.
Remember, if you continue to oversleep, you may want to discuss this with your primary physician.
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Create a Sleep Diary
Do you find yourself oversleeping? It can be difficult to understand why it's occurring. Often, it's recommended to use a diary to track your sleep habits. They are used to help you easily document your sleep, while they can help you and your physician understand your sleep pattern.
It can also help identify sleep disruption and other factors influencing sleep quality.  Identifying details about your sleep habit can show ways to explain your sleep issues further.
What Does a Sleep Diary Include:
It records daily important sleep habits or related details. Although not all sleep diaries are similar, they typically include details about:
- Start of bedtime
- Wake-up time
- Sleep latency; how long it takes to fall asleep
- The number and duration of sleep interruptions
- Duration and number of daytime naps
- Perceived sleep quality
- Consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and/or tobacco
- Daily medications
- Number of exercises and duration
Develop a Sleep Schedule
It sounds simple, but it can be difficult for some individuals. It's best to work on setting aside no more than eight hours of sleep. Creating a sleep schedule can help you train your mind and body. Being consistent helps get you back on track with a program.
Read More: Circadian Rhythm and Sleep: Structure, Function & More
If you're unsure about a schedule, give it at least a month, but try to always go to bed at the same time and always wake up at the same time, including on the weekends. You may be amazed how much sleep loves habit and consistency.
Sleeping Tip: If you don't fall asleep within the first 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and try to do something relaxing.
Avoid Sleeping in on the Weekends
We're all guilty of indulging in some extra shut-eye on the weekends. However, sleeping longer than usual on weekends can disrupt your sleep patterns and have a negative effect on your overall health.
The American Heart Association found that people who sleep in for two or more hours on weekends are more likely to have poor cardiovascular health than those who don't try to catch up on sleep. 
Maintain a Healthy Bedtime Routine
Like a healthy sleep schedule, a soothing nighttime routine can do wonders! It can help create a relaxing evening close to bedtime. This can help with falling asleep, delivering quality sleep, and making it easier to wake up in the morning.
Create a Sleep Routine
It's best to embrace it and develop a healthy nighttime routine. Give some of the below a try before sleeping and see which works best for you:
- Listen to relaxing music
- Reading a book or favorite magazine
- Sleep meditation
- Perform Yoga Nidra
- Journaling; write down your thoughts
- Avoid bright lights and sounds, including TV and computer
- Try a calm activity such as meditation
- Limit heavy meals, caffeine, and exercise
- Create a dark sleeping environment
- Lower your core body temperature using a cooling mattress topper
Take Fewer Naps During the Day
Naps offer plenty of benefits, but taking a nap, especially when you don't need them, can make you groggy and overtired. Additionally, taking a nap can lead to you getting too much sleep.
Sleeping Tip: Some people may find that power naps of just 10 to 20 minutes help them feel refreshed and more energized. It’s best to limit the time to less than 30 minutes; otherwise, you may wake up groggy. Read more about how long naps should be.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
Creating a bedroom ideal for sleeping can help significantly. Take time and make sure that your bedroom temperature is cool, free of excess lighting, and free of objects that can affect the quality of your sleep, including your television.
Studies have shown that individuals sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for light exposure, noise levels, temperature, and comfort.  Additionally, the bedroom temperature is essential in creating the ideal sleep environment. A bedroom that promotes sleep can improve your feelings while awake.
Read More: Benefits of Sleeping at Cooler Temperatures
Limit the Amount of Screentime
Removing all technology from the bedroom is a simple way to improve your sleep. It's important to keep screentime away from the bed.
Harvard Health Publishing recently wrote an article highlighting the harmful effects of blue light in technology on sleep.  Blue light, in particular, affects melatonin production, a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. You can improve your sleep quality and quantity by putting away your technology before bed.
Avoid the Snooze Button
Hitting the snooze button is easy to do, but completely getting up and out of bed may help wake the body and mind up and help prevent you from falling back asleep or oversleeping. Do you snooze? You may want to think twice before hitting that button. Take a look at our previous blog, Is Hitting the Snooze Button Healthy?
Sleep Fact: Roughly 57% of people say they snooze daily. 
Whether walking your pet or hitting the gym, any exercise is beneficial. Exercising during the day prepares your body for deep sleep at night, which helps you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. When you feel energized and refreshed, you’re less likely to wake up groggy or tired, making you want to continue sleeping.
Read More: Does Exercise Help with Sleep?
If you still struggle with oversleeping despite trying a few of the above changes, you may want to speak to your primary doctor to rule out any underlying health issues or sleep disorders.
Remember, improving your sleep habits can take time and a lot of effort, but the results and benefits are worth it. By implementing some of the above tips and staying committed to your sleep routine, you can wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the day full steam ahead!