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Decoding Sleep Addiction: The Truth About Being A Sleep O’Holic


Doesn’t your love for sleep trump over every other pleasure? I cannot imagine why it wouldn’t!

Every day every moment all I can think is when will I return home and curl up in my cozy bed. Sleep is so fundamental to my existence that when the need arises for me to deliver a tribute to one good thing I would never wish to be magically erased out of existence, it is sleep.

I can go without food. But not without sleeping.


In fact, it is so fundamental to my existence that I feel, it is the most important part of my life right after breathing.

But here is the heartbreaking part.

Just like too much breathing cannot be harmful to you, too much sleeping cannot be an addiction either. It’s actually never ever classified as one. Unlike, for instance, overeating.

Huh. So, even if I call myself a sleep o’holic, it’s much more like a fun thing to poke at rather than a serious addiction issue requiring medical attention. The one ‘dope’ thing which I thought was anything ‘dark’ about me got taken away!

Image Credits: CNN

Very recent scientific studies consider it impossible to be naturally addicted to sleeping. Sleeping too much is not a problem if you don’t have a critical sleeping sickness like hypersomnia or African trypanosomiasis, or are not addicted to sleeping pills. These two issues require serious medical intervention.

Your body can never want too much sleep, it asks for as much as it can take, and wakes you up originally when it has had enough.

Image Credits: Huffington Post
Image Credits: Huffington Post

There is no categorical exhilaration involved; the mental high that you get is apparently measurably inadequate to be classified as an addiction by any medical association on earth. So, sleeping too damn much is classified more as a disorder rather than a voluntary life choice.

Nobody can develop an unquenchable physical need to excessive sleeping.

Only if they are suffering from some kind of substance abuse (read: sleeping pills) can a person fit into the category of a typical addict. There are no withdrawal effects otherwise; a person irritably trying to change her/his sleeping cycles is not going through anything similar to an alcoholic in withdrawal.


The hormones that are involved in our sleep cycles are basically putting us in a snooze mode to help the body repair, rejuvenate and recharge it. Aren’t you often going to bed looking forward to waking up feeling even more amazing? A sizeable number of readers will agree. Your legendary napping habits might be more of an involuntary desire to compensate for a lack of good sleep.

But if you are going to bed never wanting to wake up, you are not weird. Trust me, I feel you too.


Research till now has shown that the psychological dependence that people may develop on sleep might be an indicator of depression. A lot of ‘sleep addicts’ take about escaping from reality and having vivid dreams that open up a world for them. It might be prompted by deep dissatisfaction with the actual life or excessive desire for a coma-like state to shut out all negativity.

Like said above, oversleeping is an indicator to other medical disorders rather than just an addiction.

Therefore, it’s not compulsive behavior among a normal healthy individual. As much as a lot of people might love sleeping more than usual, they are not motivated to chase any illusory rewards and instant gratification like gamblers or heroin addicts are.


I know this particular revelation might have put my sleep savvy reader in a very unsavory mood. But consider this- even if you are feeling a psychological high from sleeping too much, it’s never going to be bad for you.

It’s like enjoying a drug that doesn’t have a bad side effect even if it wanted to have one.

As long as you are not in depression or falling asleep while driving a car (hypersomnia), it cannot do any harm at all! You can have a sleeping ritual, your nap schedules/sleeping hours can be agreed upon as sacred, but you cannot be termed as an addict scientifically. Not yet.

Now, that’s dope too. Agree?

To read more interesting things about sleep:

Brinda Sen
Brinda Sen
Might be found chasing bubbles or bunnies near redbrick buildings. Warcry of choice: "Arrey Arrey Arrey Arrey!"



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