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:
Sleep even though s/he has an important engagement
Sleep even though s/he is hungry or needs to eat
Sleep even though s/he hasn't gone out in months
Sleep even though s/he needs to go to work
Sleep even though s/he needs to go to school
Sleep even though s/he has not seen friends in weeks
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:
I think about the next time I get to sleep the second I wake up.
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.
I look at the clock and say "just a few more minutes" or "i have nothing to do, I might as well sleep".
I skip spending time with friends and family in favor of sleep.
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.
I try to convince friends to sleep along with me cause it feels good (no lie, and no I don't mean sex)
I sleep to escape stress.
I sleep to escape hunger.
I sleep to escape making decisions.
I sleep to escape boredom.
I get angry and defensive with people when they try to dispute or criticize my sleeping habits.
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)
If I had no job I could pull 17-19 hours of sleep a day.
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?