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Depression and Oversleeping: I Want to Sleep All the Time

October 13, 2013 Liana M Scott

In depression, oversleeping, for me, meant that sometimes I slept 18 hours at a time. And then couldn't wait to go back to sleep. Oversleeping is tough to beat.

Oversleeping is my way out of depression. That's not so odd seeing that sleep, whether it is too much or too little, can be a symptom of depression. For me, I could never get enough sleep. That is often still the case, a keen reminder that I must always be aware of the symptoms of depression that affect me. Depression makes me want to oversleep to numb the pain.

Oversleeping Helps Me Escape Depression

For as long as I can remember, I have always been someone who needs a lot of sleep. Bouts of depression exacerbate this trait. During my major depressive episodes, I could (and would) sleep upwards of 18 hours a day. When I woke up, I wanted more. The more I got, the more I wanted... the more I needed. It was like an addictive drug. It was also like a veil over the pain I was feeling.

Like no other symptom of depression, sleep helped me escape from all the others. It was so easy, too. Just close my eyes (again) and drift away. No pain. Total avoidance. Which is why this was the hardest symptom for me to combat.

How I Quit Sleeping Through Depression

Sometimes I slept 18 hours to escape my depression. Oversleeping was a tough depression symptom to beat.My depression was treated with both medication and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Medication can be put within arms reach; on a bedside table, under the pillow. And, some therapists offer CBT over the phone. No need to get out of bed at all. But for me, given my penchant for sleeping, getting out of bed was as essential first step along the road to recovery.

At the beginning, it was absolutely the hardest thing I had to do. I would wake up, dress, drive to the therapist, sob through therapy, drive home, undress, go to bed and fall back asleep. My therapist suggested that I should try to extend the amount of time between when I got home from an appointment and when I went back to bed. Five minutes the first day, ten minutes the next, and so on. Slower if need be. While longer awake times meant longer bouts of pain, it also forced me to deal with that pain using other CBT techniques.

I love sleeping. It is my single most favorite thing. Which is why it is also the most dangerous symptom of my depression. Too much sleep, repeated oversleeping, also has the potential to bring me down . . . way down. I must be very, very diligent, aware of my symptoms and committed to my recovery.

APA Reference
Scott, L. (2013, October 13). Depression and Oversleeping: I Want to Sleep All the Time, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2013/10/i-just-want-to-sleep



Author: Liana M Scott

Md. Akhter Farooque
says:
April, 9 2018 at 10:21 pm
Doctor told me I am suffering from Schizophrenia. Now I am taking 25mg Oleanz per day at night. Before taking medicine I can't sleep at night., feel restless and stroll whole night. Whole day time I want to be in bed. I tried to avoid friends, classmates, roommates, avoid talking to them, smile cause less. I had headache different from normal headache and suffering from auditory and visual hallucination. Now I sleep 9-10 hours at night, and in the day time 3-4 hours. I want to sleep more but my father and mother prevent me. Still I want to avoid friends, classmates and talk less. Sometimes in the evening I feel uneasy, have bad feeling in the forehead and chest. That time I have hallucination. Now I am attending classes but no interest in study.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 10 2018 at 7:21 am
Hello. I'm Jennifer Smith, one of the current authors of the Coping With Depression Blog. I'm sorry you are going through this. It sounds like the medicine has helped some, but you are still having some issues. Discuss these issues with your health care provider. He/she may have other options that could lessen or improve your symptoms. Also, I commend you for continuing to attend classes. I know it's hard, but keep it up. Thank you for reaching out here, and remember to also lean on your family and friends for support, too, as well as speaking with your health care provider about all the treatment options available to you. Thank you again for your comment.
Roxanne
says:
July, 21 2017 at 12:22 pm
I am sleeping my life away
Rita
says:
May, 30 2017 at 9:52 pm
I have the same problem,sleeping all the time and depression.
Catherine
says:
May, 29 2017 at 5:45 pm
It combined with chronic fatigue 12+hrs a day for 2+years.i struggle everyday to wake up and stay up. Sometimes I win sometimes it wins. Its causing problems for my spouse. Hes lonely.i have no feelings. I wish I could cry. I feel dead inside.
Deb
says:
October, 17 2013 at 7:21 am
I have that problem too.

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