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8 Things Your Sleep Habits Say About You

Prevention Logo By Jordan Davidson of Prevention | Slide 1 of 8: <p><strong>What it might mean:</strong> An underactive thyroid or a latent infection</p><p>Most people require seven to nine hours of sleep to feel refreshed. "It should give you pause if you're sleeping more than 10 hours day-in, day-out," says Andrew Varga of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. One possible cause is hypothyroidism, which tends to affect women over 60 (here are <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/signs-your-thyroid-is-out-of-whack">16 more signs your thyroid is out of whack</a>). Its insidious, slow onset causes <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/5-surprising-conditions-that-can-make-you-gain-weight">weight gain</a> and <a href="http://www.prevention.com/health/why-you-are-always-tired">fatigue</a>, which many erroneously chalk up to aging. But sleeping too many hours may indicate a need to test your thyroid's ability to regulate metabolism. Oversleeping can also be your body's response to a latent infection, Varga says. In that case, the lengthy slumbers should be short-lived.</p>

The symptom: If you don't set an alarm, you'd sleep for 14-hour stretches.

Here, the reasons behind several common sleep idiosyncrasies. If something sounds familiar to you, talk to your doctor before self-medicating with quadruple-shot venti lattes.

What it might mean: An underactive thyroid or a latent infection

Most people require seven to nine hours of sleep to feel refreshed. "It should give you pause if you're sleeping more than 10 hours day-in, day-out," says Andrew Varga of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. One possible cause is hypothyroidism, which tends to affect women over 60 (here are 16 more signs your thyroid is out of whack). Its insidious, slow onset causes weight gain and fatigue, which many erroneously chalk up to aging. But sleeping too many hours may indicate a need to test your thyroid's ability to regulate metabolism. Oversleeping can also be your body's response to a latent infection, Varga says. In that case, the lengthy slumbers should be short-lived.

© Photograph by Adam Kuylenstierna/EyeEm/Getty Images

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