Friday, January 27, 2012


Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a love-hate relationship with sleep.
I love to sleep. Taking naps is a favorite activity. Some days, I come home from work in the early evening, take a nap for two or three hours, get up for a few hours, and go right back to bed for more sleep.
On Saturdays, I like to sleep late and then take a long afternoon-into-evening nap. On Sundays, I look forward to another afternoon nap.
I love the chance to sleep.
But I hate that I want to sleep so much. I would be accomplishing more in my life if I didn’t sleep so much.

Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life. Virginia Woolf

I hate that I can even think that napping is a favorite activity.
My husband doesn’t like me to sleep so much. He says he’d like for us to do more together, but I nap away every weekend, every day off from work.
I wasn’t always like this. I didn’t take naps even when I was in graduate school and was exhausted all the time. I didn’t have time for them.
But sometime in my early 30s, I started to love sleep.
It’s frustrating. I make plans to do so many things, but I find myself tired and sleepy, and I give in to it.
I don’t know how much of my craving for sleep comes from the medication I take and how much from habit.
My psychiatrist and I have tried to find a balance with two medications. It’s difficult to take an amount that enables me to have the motivation to not sleep and an amount that wires me.
Am I just lazy?

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. Benjamin Franklin

I don’t feel lazy. I have either been in school full time or worked full time my entire adult life, except for periods when I was unemployed and looking for work. I’m a hard worker on the job.
It’s when I’m off the job that I want to sleep. And I want to stop it.
I believe that it’s a combination of things that is causing my problem. Antidepressants are probably contributing, as are the medications for anxiety.
There are lifestyle changes that I need to make. I need to exercise regularly, get up at the same time every morning and have more of a routine of sleep.
But I think my problem is also connected to the OCD-related procrastination I have. If I am sleeping, I don’t have to deal with issues regarding cleaning, reading, writing, checking, etc. I don’t have to face things that I know will cause me anxiety.
I am not saying that I’m not responsible for my behavior. I am. I am just considering contributing factors.
I am hoping that I will be adding more tools to my toolbox to fight the OCD. I’ll be starting cognitive behavioral therapy a week from today. I have to get serious about making lifestyle changes. And I have to push myself more than I am now to break through the procrastination.
I’m the only one that can do it. I need to make this change in my life.
Do you have problems with too much sleep? How do you combat it?


  1. Oh yes, is this a problem for me! My sleep has not been properly regulated for years and years. A lot of it is my own fault - like you said, I need to stick to a regular time, get up at the same time every day, I have to avoid caffeine and sugar late in the day, etc. Part of my problem with needing a lot of sleep is sometimes depression, sometimes medication, sometimes a needed escape, and sometimes it is pure exhaustion from living with anxiety. I wish I could give you a recipe for fighting it, but I'm still in the midst of the battle myself! If you figure something out, let me know. : )

    It's great that you're making the decision to get serious about lifestyle changes with your OCD treatment. Healing is tough work. In some ways you may be a bit more tired with all the added effort to fight OCD because it can be hard. BUT, at least you know this will be fatigue with a good cause, and that it will not last forever.

  2. Sunny, Thank you for your comment. I haven't really been considering anxiety as producing fatigue, but you're right, it does. Just having your body revved up so much is hard on it, I guess.

    It's hard for me to give myself permission to be tired and rest. Even though I sleep so much, I feel so guilty about it. I don't guess that helps matters!

  3. Now...I rarely feel the NEED to nap. Sometimes I do...just because I want to curl up in a cozy blanket and relax, but I don't HAVE to.

    You really should look into MTHFR. Before I started taking methylfolate to combat the genetic variant I HAD to nap.....every day...while my kids were down. I couldn't function without it.

    The methylfolate is a B-Vitamin,which are known to give energy. Not only myself, but others that are on it describe themselves as finally having "ambition" to do things again.

    1. Melanie, Thanks for your comment. I plan to ask my doctor about this. I would love not to feel the need to nap!

  4. First of all, you are NOT lazy.

    I have always had sleep trouble. Mostly the lack of sleep is my problem due to the anxiety keeping me awake. Though I have had periods of time where the depression exhausted me into sleeping too much but more often than not, my problem is feeling exhausted and not being able to sleep.

    According to my doctor, this is one of the main symptoms of my mood instability that fuels my OCD. Sleep issues affect OCD and OCD affects sleep issues.

  5. Elizabeth, Thank you for saying I'm not lazy! You don't know how much that worries me!

    I've always thought about depression affecting my sleep, but I haven't given enough consideration to how OCD and other anxiety might be doing it. And you're right--sleep, or lack thereof, can affect OCD too. So many things seem to affect us!


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