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Sleep Addiction

Tue, Sep 22, 2009

Sleep AddictionSleep Disorders

The term “addiction” is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction(e.g. alcoholism), video game addiction, crime, money, work addiction, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, nicotine addiction, pornography addiction, etc.

In medical terminology, an addiction is a chronic neurobiologic disorder that has genetic, psychosocial, and environmental dimensions and is characterized by one of the following:

  • The continued use of a substance despite its detrimental effects
  • Impaired control over the use of a drug (compulsive behavior)
  • Preoccupation with a drug’s use for non-therapeutic purposes (i.e. craving the drug)

Addiction is often accompanied by the presence of deviant behaviors (for instance stealing money and forging prescriptions) that are used to obtain a drug. (Wikipedia)

31-August 09

Q: Is anyone else addicted to sleeping? I sleep all the time and although some people say it’s normal for a teenager, my mom gets really mad all the time and yells at me a lot for it. :( I tell her I can’t help it but she think I’m just being really lazy. Also sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything or putting something off until later. And sleeping is so peaceful. 

A1: From Jim Bow 

Well sleeping can be so comforting as well. It is not abnormal in itself, but what you need to check out is that you are not a little depressed or something.My daughters went through a phase of spending more time in bed than I thought healthy, but now they are both married it all different.Do have a physical check up just to be on the safe side. We all get moods when we feel it is better to stay in bed and do nothing. Best Wishes.

av-36629 A2: Well, I do think it is normal for teenagers to like to sleep a lot. When I was a teenager, everyone I knew would sleep late on the weekends. Sometimes even until three or four in the afternoon, though I myself never slept past noon. My family got mad and thought us teenagers were being lazy, too. They thought everyone should be up by eight at the latest. So, I’d say that whether the issue is a cause for concern depends on what’s happening. What does your mom expect? How long and how much are you sleeping? If you do spend most of your free time in bed, then perhaps you should check things out. 

SleepAddiction2A3: I sleep in but most i get is 10 hours sleep. the least is 6 hours sleep and i notice if i sleep too much and do too little then i get tired and i stay tired and sleep more that is why i try do more in the day otherwise i would sleep too much maybe. When i was a teenager i slept a lot and on the odd occasion i would not wake up until 4pm but I don’t think it does the body any good. Circulation for one thing cant be good if you sleep too long and poor circulation is not good for ones health. If your worried aobut it then maybe see a doctor? 

Now you can see that sleep addiction is a sleep disorder, not necessarily a sleep illness, however, the most common people complain can be described as follows:

I must have sleep addiction. I simply cannot get out of bed to work out in the morning.

Let’s ask the doctor:  (from Western Washington Univerity)

Q: Is there such thing as a “sleep addiction”? Because sometimes I think I have one.  

I’ve often thought that if there were a “sleeping competition” at western I would win it by far. I also have this weird habit/ability to sleep almost anywhere, or anytime, no matter how much I’ve slept that day just because I like it that much. It was more of a problem for me last year, and I’ve limited my sleep and am doing fine, but sometimes – especially during midterms and finals – I can’t help it. Suggestions? 

A: There are many reasons for “hypersomnia” which is a need/desire for excessive sleep–not exactly an addiction but roughly defined as sleeping more than 10 hours daily. There are a number of sleep disorders which can cause this, including narcolepsy, which can cause sudden sleep at inappropriate times (i.e. in class, while driving, during high stress situations) or sleep apnea which causes disrupted sleep patterns from hypoxia (low oxygen levels) so one is always sleepy, having not had restful sleep. There is depression which causes excessive sleep need, primarily due to fatigue, but also as an escape from the pain and worry of daily activities. Some medications and recreational substances can cause excessive sleep need. And then, a particular affliction of college students: no set sleep routine, no predictable hours of rest, being up at all hours of the night and so there is constant tiredness and sleep craving. Bottom line, if the excessive sleep need persists despite several days of at least 9 hours of sleep at night, then being evaluated in a sleep clinic for a sleep disorder makes a great deal of sense.

Watch Video: Sleep and Addiction

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