September 3, 2011 7:37 AM Subscribe
Sleepaholic. My propensity to go to bed/sleep my life away is starting to feel like a deleterious addiction. How can I beat this?
posted by whalebreath to Human Relations (16 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Retreating to bed is this uncontrollable urge I have that is starting to (or has always) seriously mess with my life. Akin to an addiction, it feels really good and rewarding and pleasurable while I'm doing it, but the aftermath is awful. I feel terrible about myself when I finally crawl out of bed at 3 pm (and then only because I have to go to work). My relationships suffer because of this - friends and family are frustrated and annoyed that I don't live up to commitments because I've been sleeping. It interferes with my academic life - I miss classes and fall behind because I can't pull myself out of bed.
And it's not a problem of not being able to get out of bed in the morning (or afternoon). I can get out of the bed, in fact have to every day in order to bring my dog out for a pee/walk, but then the first chance I get I crawl back into bed. Any time I am home with any amount of downtime my immediate instinct is to get in bed. I wish that I wanted to sit down and write a letter, or sew a patch, or play with my dog, or anything! But I have this uncontrollable urge to just go lie in bed and read and sleep. I seem to be able to fall asleep/stay asleep to an uncanny degree. For instance, last week, I decided to snooze my alarm clock, but set it to go off every 3 minutes so that I would get up. I spent 2 hours pressing snooze every three minutes, and falling asleep in between the snoozes. And I love the snooze sleep...I have really interesting dreams, so once the alarm happens I'm antsy to get back to the dream.
I've tried oh so many things to fix this. I've put my alarm clock across the room, but as I said, getting out of bed is not the problem, it's staying out of bed. I've made my bed and got dressed first thing in the morning, but that doesn't stop me from staying out of it. I got a dog who requires exercise, so I will begrudgingly bring him for an hour long walk all the while just wanting to go back to bed.
This seems to have gone on much of my life. Apparently as a baby I started sleeping through the night fairly early, and also would often sleep in until 10 am. As a teenager I remember skipping high school, not to go hang out at the mall, but to lounge on my couch reading and napping all day. I would actually wake up, get dressed, and go to the busstop until I saw my mom leave for work, then would go back home to nap.
I've had my blood levels checked and am not deficient in anything. I don't snore and don't think I have sleep apnea.
Bed is my default whenever I feel slightly uncomfortable in any way. Cold, tired, anxious, stressed, hungry and don't know what to eat, lonely, etc. I get out of the shower and go straight to bed.
Also, it's not like my bed is really comfortable or anything. A couple of weeks ago I was sleeping on a piece of memory foam on the floor, and still wanted to be there all the time. Now I have a nice mattress and it's the same thing.
I HATE THIS about myself. I feel like I'm not living life. I want to be engaged and productive. I want to want to do things besides lie like a lump. I want to be able to cope with stress in more productive ways than just escaping. But it seems like nothing works. I've done CBT. I'm on SSRIs (15mg lexapro and 100mg wellbutrin). I'm in therapy. I use all the resources I can get my hands on but just can't seem to kick this habit/urge.
School is starting again, I have a thesis to write, and I'm scared that I'm going to spend the semester wasting away in bed and not accomplish the goals I've set out for myself. I also feel so bad for my dog, who I'm sure would appreciate a more active owner.
I want to be able to just 'suck it up buttercup' and stay out of bed, but it seems that all reason/rationality escapes me when I have the urge to crawl under the covers. I stopped allowing my phone or laptop in my room so that I don't browse the web in bed. I keep my blinds open. What else can I do for myself?
I'm late twenties and female and frustrated. I will cling to any morsel of advice you can offer about how to tackle this problem. Thanks mefites.