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ZEPHYRA's avatar

What would be wrong if one spent more hours asleep than awake?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (15167 points ) March 4th, 2012

I don’t mean it as a joke, if a person wants to be able to keep awake and energetic but can’t. What could be wrong?

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18 Answers

partyrock's avatar

This is interesting… I want to hear what other people have to say.

The only times I’ve ever slept more than being awake was when I was going through a depression :( and physically/emotionally/mentally felt tired all the time… That’s my only explanation for me…

Something neurological ? Depression.. ? Vampire…. ? Like I said, I’m interested to know in what other people have to say.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

In spite of taking anti-depressants?????

stratman37's avatar

I actually did that yesterday and now I feel like crap

CaptainHarley's avatar

On a short term basis, it may indicate nothing more than a need for extra rest for some reason. Continued for more than a few days, it could well be an indication of severe depression or some sort of brain damage. I would have the individual see a doctor just to be on the safe side, especially if they’ve had a severe bump on the head of some sort.

SmashTheState's avatar

I live with severe and untreatable clinical depression. When I’m having a bad episode, I’ll sleep 14–18 hours a day. During very bad episodes, I’ll sleep 24 hours or more in a row. My record is 28 hours straight.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Ruling out brain damage as Captain Harley says and ruling out obesity leaves us with depression. Yes, there is depression which is somehow kept in check with anti-depressants. My dear @SmashTheState , can it be so bad that that a person by far prefers to be asleep than awake?????

marinelife's avatar

One would be wasting one’s life.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@marinelife very true and tragic, but don’t forget that some things can’t be helped, definitely not a lazy person in question!

dabbler's avatar

Except for an episode of acute fatigue, I’d be surprised if someone routinely slept that much and got up energized and rarin’ to go. The only two people I know who did that routinely were within a couple years of death by essentially stagnation. And they were far from perky when they were awake. Sad that was in each case…

jca's avatar

I’m thinking depression and the person should inform the psychiatrist.

Kardamom's avatar

Depression is also my first guess, but there are other medical conditions that can make people sleepy, tired and lethargic. One that comes to mind is Epstein-Barr Virus. Also low blood sugar and anemia can cause people to be tired all the time. As can some un-diagnosed conditions such as cancer and heart disease and lung disease, brain injuries. Also certain medications can cause tiredness.

Definitely you should make an appointment to see your doctor, describe the situation: how long has it been going on? Is it sporadic? Are you on any meds (prescription or OTC). He’ll likely want to do some blood work.

JLeslie's avatar

Thyroid problem is my first guess if they are not severly depressed.

Which brings me to the other possibility: depression.

Thyroid test is a simple inexpensive blood test. What are the other symptoms? Dry skin? Hair falling out? Dry sticky eyes in the middle of the night or morning? Lack of appetite? Sore muscles? Gaining weight? Lump in your throat visible when you swallow? Difficulty swallowing? Any of those happening?

Chief_Brody's avatar

Unless you are unwell, anything over 10 hours is not recommended.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@JLeslie no. But the depression is being “treated”. Then again, I guess depression is something that never actually goes away, it may be tamed slightly but never gotten rid of in certain cases.

JLeslie's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Maybe a tendency towards depression can be seen as always being there, but people definitely can overcome depression. By the way, a symptom of hypothyroid is depression. All patients who are depressed should have their thyroid tested in my opinion. In most behavioral hospitals patients who go inpatient are tested for thyroid levels as a mandatory part of admittance.

And, yes, people who are depressed can want to stay in bed all day, that is not uncommon.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Fatigue is a symptom of about 100 things. Go have a metabolic profile done and talk to you doc. It may very well just be lack of a nutrient or vitamin.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, low iron too.

Here is the bloodwork they should do, probably at least some of them have been done:

Iron
TSH
CBC
Vitamin D
Vitamin B12

Just take that list to your doctor, seriously, and let them tell you what has already been done. If any of your tests come up borderline normal, consider treating, even though you are in normal range. Ranges are argued all the time. Especially TSH is argued about in the US, some people think the upper limit should be 3.5, most labs have it about 5.

Do you live in a cold climate? Is it winter now? That can have an affect on sleep hours also. I’m sure you have heard of SAD. Short, gray, cold days, add to the depression and lack of motivation for a lot of people.

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