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April 29, 2006
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According to doctors there is no such thing as sleep addiction. But I beg to differ. While I was at work today, disputing whether I should sleep or not because it was dead, I decided to look up to see if I had a problem. According to several credible sites I googled and Wikied, there is no such thing as an addiction to sleep. The only thing I found that seemed like it was my condition was Hypersomnia: "an excessive amount of sleepiness, resulting in an inability to stay awake" now that seems a little more along the lines of Narcolepsy doesn't it? I could stay awake; my body doesn't shut down out of nowhere.

'Cause really they say any sleep is healthy for you, that there isn't really anything unhealthy about it. But if you look at more of a perspective here, there can be alot of things wrong with too much sleep. Physically it can cause some muscle disorders, back problems, promote overweight-ness, Restless legs syndrome, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, Scoliosis.
Too much sleep, they say, is a product of a chemical imbalance due to depression, though I think it is altogether possible that too much sleep causes depression. (Especially when it comes to people who think about how much time they wasted sleeping when they could have done something constructive, thus causing themselves to get depressed and sleep more.)

Socially it can be crippling. Try to make friends when you sleep more then 15 hours a day, or keep em if you make any at all. Often a sleep addict, like me, EVEN if I have friends over or am at a party, would steal away moments alone in a room to sleep. Thus no social interaction, but my fix for sleep is momentarily sated. And for lack of social interaction, someone who is addicted to sleep may just escape into the dreams they entertain, where friends always are. And then that can always lead full circle into depression... loneliness... more sleep. 'cause sleep makes those feelings go away.

well let's back away from social and physical effects of sleep addiction for a moment and address the definition of Addiction: "...a compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its consequences... a chronic pattern of behavior that continues despite the direct or indirect adverse consequences that result from engaging in the behavior. It is quite common for an addict to express the desire to stop the behavior, but find himself or herself unable to cease."

Now, let's look at actions due to "addiction to sleep" in accordance to the definition. If an addict does indeed carry on with addiction without any thought for consequence to their actions, then by definition a sleep addict would perhaps:

:worry:Sleep even though s/he has an important engagement
:worry:Sleep even though s/he is hungry or needs to eat
:worry:Sleep even though s/he hasn't gone out in months
:worry:Sleep even though s/he needs to go to work
:worry:Sleep even though s/he needs to go to school
:worry:Sleep even though s/he has not seen friends in weeks
:worry:Sleep even though to do so physically hurts them

That sounds like the actions of an addict who does not recognize, immediately recognize, or ignores consequences.

If you look at another addiction that is still disputed but is very much real, Internet Addiction, then there is really alot of questions raised of what really is addiction. After all the internet is considered to be a pro-social medium, but it also does a great deal in isolating the addict, does it not? Therefore it becomes an addiction. Just because sleep is considered good for you, does that mean that too much of it isn't socially, physically, or mentally hurtful to the addict?

I am a sleep addict, and it's not just a crackpot excuse or anything like those who throw around that they are dyslexic or that they have ADD. It's real. I'm not falling asleep uncontrollably; I make a conscious decision to go to sleep rather then stay awake, even when being awake might be more productive, fun, or healthy of me. And like an addict I have behaviors an addict would have:

:worry:I think about the next time I get to sleep the second I wake up.
:worry:I am satisfied when I sleep and when I wake up I barter with myself on whether I should go back to sleep or not.
:worry:I look at the clock and say "just a few more minutes" or "i have nothing to do, I might as well sleep".
:worry:I skip spending time with friends and family in favor of sleep.
:worry:When I am out with friends or hanging out with friends, I search for someplace to fall asleep without being disturbed or found out, even though I am wide awake and enjoying their company.
:worry:I try to convince friends to sleep along with me cause it feels good (no lie, and no I don't mean sex)
:worry:I sleep to escape stress.
:worry:I sleep to escape hunger.
:worry:I sleep to escape making decisions.
:worry:I sleep to escape boredom.
:worry:I get angry and defensive with people when they try to dispute or criticize my sleeping habits.
:worry:The pull to sleep is so great that when I try to stay awake it's gives me symptoms of withdrawal. (scratching skin, clenching teeth, biting nails, snoring while awake, hard of breathing, yawning often, shaking)
:worry:If I had no job I could pull 17-19 hours of sleep a day.
:worry:It feels so good to sleep that I would pass food and sex over for it every time.

I know this is a real disorder. Me writing this is kind of a therapy, cause really if I wasn't writing this I would be asleep right now. Even as I write this I fight the pulling urge to sleep. Only my lingering post-IAD keeps me on.

Do I need help? Am I the only one?
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:iconanondreamer:
anondreamer Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011   Artisan Crafter
I am addicted to sleep. It's always on my mind. Always thinking 'When can I nap next?' or 'Is it too early to go to bed?'
I hate it. I wish I could be a "morning person", hell, just a normal person. It is cause great strain on my marriage. I fear it's affecting my children. I'm 25, and have been addicted since puberty, I suppose. I've been on countless anti-depressants, with no avail.
I'm terrified, if things don't change, my husband will leave me. I've actually considered taking speed, just to make it physically impossible to sleep.
I wish I had the answer.
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:iconanondreamer:
anondreamer Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011   Artisan Crafter
I am addicted to sleep. It's always on my mind. Always thinking 'When can I nap next?' or 'Is it too early to go to bed?'
I hate it. I wish I could be a "morning person", hell, just a normal person. It is cause great strain on my marriage. I fear it's affecting my children. I'm 25, and have been addicted since puberty, I suppose. I've been on countless anti-depressants, with no avail.
I'm terrified, if things don't change, my husband will leave me. I've actually considered taking speed, just to make it physically impossible to sleep.
I wish I had the answer.
Reply
:iconisoldel:
isoldel Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just read this journal and instantly thought, "Omg, this is just like me!" I love to sleep to escape and to dream because I've developed much self control within my dreams. I can do anything I want and I'm aware that it isn't real. It sounds weird/crazy/freaky but it's pretty cool to know that I can control my nightmares, fly around in the air (although it's more like swimming.) and control what events happen next.
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:iconeliea:
Eliea Featured By Owner May 10, 2006  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
:) I love to sleep. I used to nap all the time. NOw I can't and find myself wishing I could. I do know that It's addicting, it feels good, and you feel better when you wake up. I get grouchy when I can't sleep at least 8 hours at night. If I have 7 I'm like a slug at work, any less it's worse.
Oh and caffine I'm totally addicted to caffine. Soda or pop, coffee, energy drinks whatever. It could taste like dirt And I'd probably drink it. Just becasue I've gotten to the point where if I don't have it I get tired, headaches, and feel horrid.

I also actually have dyslexia. I've been diagnosed. I can't stand it when someone makes a joke about it like it's no big deal. (which is not what you did. seems like we have the same dealio with it. lol) Becasue it's really hard, reading, writing doing math everything. Very frustrating. But that's not what the issue is. lol

Sleep is definetly addicting.
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:iconcristiyana:
Cristiyana Featured By Owner May 4, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
Huh. That's funny. I have bi-polar and I take meds and such. But here lately, I've been wanting to go to sleep more often. I'll pass up internet time for sleep and to and from work I try to go to sleep (my mom drives me to work and dad takes me home since he is my boss). Maybe there is such a thing as sleep addiction. Who knows. All I know is that sleep is a great thing to do.
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:iconaseariel:
aseariel Featured By Owner May 3, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
maybe people claim that there's no sleep addiction because its symptoms are synonymous with other disorders? the fact that people who are depressed may have a sleep addiction as well does not necessarily imply causality.

as to your actual question, i sleep to escape things i don't want to deal with. i don't think i'm depressed; i think i was for a long time, but it's different now. i sleep to get out of eating, or doing work. the only one who really gets on my case about my sleeping habits is my dad, but i do get really irritable and defensive when he does (whether this is because he is my father, or because i have a sleep addiction, i cannot say).

so yeah. i don't think it's just you.
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:iconbunnystick:
bunnystick Featured By Owner May 4, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
It's altogether possible that the symptoms as listed could be bits and peices of other disorders. i dunno. though every suggestion to look into for some facts i have taken in gratitude.

though the only suggestion i think to be poorly given is "this is obviously a desperate and peralious cry for help, you are mentally unstable, you need some couchtime, get a shrink." i mean.. goodness. dun let poeple belittle your problems in such a way if they do, luvie.

but my thought experiment was more an observation of my symtoms that have worried me in comparison to those of whom that i know are addicted to substances, you know? the behaviour seems similar.
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:iconaseariel:
aseariel Featured By Owner May 4, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
indeed. there are some very interesting parallels.
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:iconlyndzeeee:
Lyndzeeee Featured By Owner May 3, 2006   Writer
I'm tired alot also D: I think it runs in my family, yeeeesh

I actually thought it had to do with a chemical imbalence related to hypothyroidism. It seemed to fit perfectly, but tests came back negative. I am puzzled :/ what's troubling is that my limbs fall asleep all the time, sometimes one of my ears stops working, and I'm often confused about simple situations, which seems like a problem with oxygenation... or I'm just naturally like that...

But I digress, it is possible, in my opinion, for sleep to be an addiction. An addiction is something for which you have a physiological or (I think...) psycological dependence. If sleeping changes your chemical balences, such as dopamine, then yes, I think it can definitely become an addiction. Release of dopamine is one of the things that make some drugs so addictive.

Maybe it isn't classified as such because sleep is an action, not a substance. Maybe you've simply conditioned your body to expect that much sleep, and that is what is making you so tired all the time.

I dunno >_< I tired and go to bed now. My point is, you aren't alone with that sleep problem thingy, eh? :D
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:iconbunnystick:
bunnystick Featured By Owner May 4, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
it has been suggested that my body expects to sleep so much and at certain times of the day. and you would think that if you tried you could get yourself out of such habbits, but getting out of those comfortable sleeping habits is near painful.

your effect sounds a bit more physical then mine which may indeed be psychologically induced as this point and causing physical reaction. one of my friends suggested that my sleep dependency may be a form of control based on past history of not having control over my situations and therefore i get nervous habits like scratching and shaking and such.

i've no idea.
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