Long Sleeping

Long sleeping is an uncommon sleep finding or disorder characterized by the body’s inclination on remaining asleep for longer periods of time than would otherwise be deemed typical. This often results in 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night for people with the findings, with less than that leaves them feeling unrefreshed and sleepy throughout the day.

The disorder often begins in childhood, and last throughout the subject’s life. The sleep itself is very normal and deep. The disorder has not been connected to any genetic traits, medical conditions or psychological issues, and remains a relative mystery.

The Characteristics of Long Sleepers

Most long sleepers will be forced to endure shorter than desired sleep durations to keep up with life’s demands, and this can cause numerous symptoms related to insomnia the next day. It also accrues into what is called a sleep debt, which is routinely paid back on weekends when long sleepers will sleep as long as 15 hours to get caught up on lost sleep. Other long sleepers will choose to fully accept the condition and live within its restraints, going to bed at a time early enough to allow for at least 10 hours of sleep each night. Long sleepers will often find it difficult to wake up to alarm clocks, and may be difficult to wake by others, and should ideally set aside enough sleep time so that the body wakes up when it is naturally refreshed.

How Common is Long Sleeping

Long sleeping has been found in approximately 2% of the population, with men at a slightly higher rate of having it than women. It may be difficult to first detect in children, as they routinely sleep more than adults, and are often not given free reign to sleep in as long as desired. Allowing a child to sleep in on weekends and measuring the time slept could be a good indication of the presence of this disorder, if it surpasses 10-12 hours.

Difference Between Long Sleep and Short Sleep

By contrast short sleepers are people who generally sleep less than 6 or 7 hours per night. They often have difficulty sleeping ‘the average’ amount of sleep. Short sleepers feel refreshed and generally do not experience daytime sleepiness with this decreased amount of sleep.

Long Sleeping is Associated With Other Findings

A link has been found connecting long sleeping with introverted personality types, which may have to do with the release or lack thereof of certain chemicals in the brain, but no conclusive evidence has been found, nor is there a cure. Long sleepers are advised not to fight the disorder, as it may lead to the development of other sleeping disorders or medical issues, but to instead live within its constraints as well as is possible under their circumstance, and achieve the most sleep that they possibly can without neglecting other aspects of their lives.

The possibility exists that the disorder could be caused by depression or another medical condition, and if it has only recently started, then this is likely the case. In these situations, being examined by a doctor, and having a thorough check of your medical and sleep history performed may root out the problem. In these cases you may be asked to perform an overnight sleep study, or polysomnogram, to have any other sleep disorders uncovered if they exist. In most cases, maintaining a sleep diary will be enough for the doctor to make a diagnosis in your case.

If the long sleeping is being caused by another issue, that issue should be resolved as soon as possible, at which point the offending long sleeping should dissipate. If the long sleeping is the cause of natural biological circadian rhythm, possible treatments are unknown, and since the level of sleep is of high quality, it is recommended to incorporate the long sleeping into the daily routine as best as possible. Attempting to avoid long sleeping, or staying aggressively awake could lead to other sleeping disorders such as a non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder, which are far more damaging to social relationships and professional careers than a couple of lost hours of awake time each day.

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123 Replies to “Long Sleeping”

  1. Laura

    My husband and 3 of my 9 children are long sleepers. When we first got married, I thought he was extremely lazy. His dad pulled me off to the side when dating and told me he had a sleeping problem. I dismissed it thinking it was just related to growing and being a teen. But now 30 years later, he really has slept half of his life away. He is able to go to work in a timely manner, but he sleeps 2 hours when he gets home. It averages to about 10-12 hours a day of sleep. My long sleeping children are also the same way. The one that goes to college can sleep 14 hours on off days. I do wonder if their bodies produce too much melatonin. I am looking in to blood tests to see if they have thalassemia.

  2. Trenton Bartelson

    I am desperately looking for an answer to this right here if you can help or give a suggestion I would appreciate it thank you.

    Ever since I was young my parents would open my door and yell or speak to me sleeping away would it hear it wouldn’t budge at all alarm going off would hear it go off but couldn’t bring myself to turn it off. Would have to get like water poured on to me to wake up completely.

    I am 21 2 kids and a wife, I work from 2:30pm to 4am most days weekends off. If it wasn’t for my wife I would lose this jobs just I have lost all my others because I could bring my self to wake up in time I would set 10 to 20 alarms would hear them turn them off and fall back to sleep hard. My wife has to fight with me everyday to get my out off bed. She would pull the covers off the bed take the pillows from me yell at me nothing sleep at most wake up for 3 seconds yell back fall asleep. It is taking a toll on my marriage I love my wife and kids don’t want to lose anything I have in my life. But I good to bed at 5am sleep till 1 only because my wife gets me up. On weekends I go to bed by midnight but almost don’t want to get up or roll out of bed till 430 to 7pm the only times I can seem to get up on my own in only couple of hours is if I take a nap on the couch may be because it is uncomfortable but I want to only sleep 8 hours get up and enjoy my days but I can only ejoy my nights while she’s alseep and my kids are asleep I want to wake up in the morning with them and see my kids go to school in the morning I barely get to see my kids when I go to work there napping when I come home there sleeping when they get up in the morning I’m sleeping I just want help don’t know what to do anymore

  3. Kristen

    I’m 24 and I’ve always been a long sleeper, but I’ve also always been a night person. I have so much energy at night and like to wait to do any school work or house work until night time. I absolutely hate waking up early (which for me, is before 11 AM). But I find that even when I go to bed early and get a full 8 hours, I still don’t like waking up early. I’d much rather go to bed at 3 AM and sleep until 1 PM. Anyway, because normal human life requires waking early for school and work, I’ve just gotten used to getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night, leaving me exhausted during the day. If I get the time to take a nap after school, it ends up being 2-3 hours long. And then to make up for my lack of sleep during the week, I can easily sleep 12 hours of the weekend. When I’m able to sleep without an alarm clock, I usually sleep 10 hours and won’t wake up any sooner. My friends think I’m crazy and it’s actually annoying because I wish I was someone who woke up energized and ready for the day at 6 AM. Anyone else have this problem?

  4. Maria Mccloud

    I am 26, super active, and super healthy, but was tired of being tired. I would wake up at 5:30am and be in bed at 6pm. Whenever we were in the car, I would fall asleep automatically. My lovely husband had to drive me everywhere except from work and back.
    When I was 19 I even fell asleep at the shell and crashed. At the time I thought it was from working two jobs and going to college. I never went to get it checked. 7 years later to today I decided to see a doctor and was given a night and day sleep study. Nothing is wrong with me! I am perfectly healthy, and actually went to sleep every nap and I’m talking about REM sleep. This upset me because my sleeping problems affected my standard of living and ability to be the mom and wife I needed to be. My doctor explained my body naturally just wants more sleep. To counter that he prescribed Provigil to me. 100-200 mg in the morning and again mid day. I take it when I feel I need it and can choose not to take it. It’s been 3 months and I feel refreshed and so thankful to finally have my life back.

  5. Gayle White

    I go through this in cycles. I have chronic pain from a MVA 28 years ago. Anytime my pain gets out of control for more than a day or two, long sleep periods follow. Sometimes for several months. I believe it’s my body’s way of telling me “Hey, I need to get this pain under control & heal up a bit!” After years of trying to fight the long sleep periods, I just listen to my body & go with the flow. Getting my pain back under control & the extra sleep usually gets me back to my normal 8-9hr sleep schedule. I’ve been taking kratom for pain for several years now & this is managing my pain far better than any pain med as I can control the dose.

    I just wanted to address this issue for those of us living with chronic pain. We can have problematic sleep cycles that only exacerbate our condition. Fighting your body’s need for rest & sleep inly makes it worse!

  6. Whitney

    This is totally me. There is nothing worse about this problem than the guilt. I can’t add anything extra to my life, as i can barely make time for the basics. I feel like a terrible mother. I am so scared to let my kids sign up for extra curricular activities because I dont know if I will be able to handle it. When my youngest was a baby, I got off work and picked her up from daycare, and she was sick. I usually would put her to bed at 7 and go have a coffee with my friend. I decided to bring her with me because she was so sick, but when I got to the coffee shop, i was so tired that I ran in to get a coffee and forgot that I brought her and left her in the car! I got arrested and was charged with endangering a child. I feel so scared to say yes to events in fear that my tiredness will cause something terrible to happen. I’ve been called lazy, and even been made fun of for going to bed at 8. I hate having this problem so much. The guilt and shame is overwhelming

  7. April Hedgpeth

    My issues seems to be different than what has been listed. I find myself sleeping as much as 24 to 36 hours straight on weekends when I am off work and have no other obligations. I do not take anything to help me sleep and in fact am unable to take my daily medications that I should be taking because I am asleep. By the time I come to I have had a lot of vivid dreams of almost feeling like I have lived a whole separate life from my reality. I am also a smoker and have been able to go 24 to 36 hour without smoking and not craving it or make me wake up to have a cigarette . This has brought much concern to my family because of me falling into such deep sleep patterns for such a length of time that I can’t even explain. Again this happens about once maybe twice a month on weekend’s and there are no other circumstances as far as me being sick or on a different medication, it’s just me falling asleep at 10 on a Friday and not waking up until two on Saturday to go to the bathroom and then sleeping through the next day until around 2 pm which is what happened over this past weekend. I don’t understand what causes it, all I know is when I’m asleep and someone tries to wake me I feel like I am almost anesthetized. It scares me to know that I have no control over waking myself up. Is there any one that has experienced anything similar to my issues? My issues seems to be different than what has been listed. I find my self sleeping as much as 24 to 36 hours straight but not staying up in excess (i.e. 24-48 hours without sleep) for days before or after this experience. It scares me because it doesn’t make sense to me as to why my body does this for no apparent reason. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  8. Melissa

    I’ve had this problem as long as I can remember. My parents had absolute hell trying to get me up for school as a kid. I sleep like a rock. It sometimes takes an hour or better for someone to wake me up & alarms don’t even phase me. I have an alarm clock called a Screaming Meanie. It’s 1.5 decibels & I sleep right through it. I will wake up after sleeping through it with my ears hurting from sleeping through it for so long. I’ve had a sleep study done & they have found nothing else wrong. My body just wants more sleep. When I build up a “sleep debt”, I finally just have to crash sometimes for up to a full day but I awake from that feeling so much better.
    I physically cannot wake up on my own unless I’ve slept enough. I’ve lost 2 jobs because of this & have just found it best to work 2nd or 3rd shifts. I typically go to work around 5pm & am off work by midnight. My kids have learned certain ways to wake me up & I have a really hard time getting up to get them to school on time. I have found it easier to just stay awake until it’s time to get them up & then crash until they get home in the afternoons. I have been accused of ‘just being lazy’ by family, even after being diagnosed as having long sleeper syndrome. There really needs to be more research done on this so we can really get some kind of relief because it really does take a toll on you, your work, & your relationships.

  9. Peter

    I wish I could sleep, since a teenager I only get on average of 6 hrs sleep, that’s a good night. It creates a long day awake, I wish I could sleep more , I’m 65 now, and have no less or more

  10. Sadie

    I am 64 and also have developed a need for more sleep that I don’t understand. I have few obligations that require early rising since retiring from day shift job 2 years ago. I usually go to sleep at 3 am and sleep until 2pm, sometimes longer. I awaken many times and then fall right back to sleep again even if it’s 3 or 4pm. I have very vivid dreams during the daytime hours when I’m asleep. I often tell myself In the dream that I am indeed dreaming and I will wake up and the scary stuff will end. I still have little energy and feel guilty. It is hard to visit relatives who think I’m lazy. I’m glad that I’m not alone in this. Thanks!

    • Sleeper

      Hi Sadie
      I was also very glad to come across this article. I have always been a “long sleeper”. My relatives also think I am lazy and unmotivated, or just don’t care about them.
      I envy those who sleep 7 hours and feel great! I wish I was one of those people. I can’t even think straight and get terrible headaches when I don’t sleep enough.
      I feel like I underachieve in life because I sleep so much. I have come to accept this. I am doing my best and that is all any of us can do.
      I have found that working nights is best for me. That way I don’t have to rush around with the mob and if I sleep more than others I can point to my “irregular schedule” as the reason I have to miss certain social functions. It is basically impossible to get people to believe I need this much sleep and am not depressed or sick.
      Everyone has a “solution” for me.
      I have discussed this with my Dr. and a thorough examination reveals I am in basic very good health.
      I am glad to hear I am not the only person out there with the need for more sleep. It makes me feel “normal”, whatever that is. Honestly, there is so much emphasis on when people must sleep and for how much time. I just do my best with the body I have.
      Peace to you Sadie.

  11. Ashley

    My boyfriend has more recently become concerned with my sleep habits so if course I turn to google to help. I am in college and I don’t have very many friends here yet so this lets my sleep habits loose. Since there is really no one here to make plans with to get me awake, I sleep as long as I want. Just the other night I went to bed around 3am and woke up at 10 so I got 7 hours which is normal but I was exhausted. Later that day after class I decided to take a nap which ended up being a 5 hour nap. Most of my friends can barely nap for an hour but all of mine are at least 3 hours. And last night I went to sleep at around 2:30am and just woke up at 4:30pm. And I could have gone back to sleep but my boyfriend told me to get up.

  12. Dian williams

    I am 68 have sleep apnea and have used a machine for 3 years with not a lot of difference in deep dream sleep. I have stopped using the machine and now find of late I am sleeping 13 to 14 hours nightly waking for 3 to four then back to sleep for another 2 to 3 hours. I am sleeping my life away however this sleep is deep and with dreams and I am feeling more relaxed and rested than I have been in 40 years or so. My husband is worried says it’s not normal. He is 75 sleeps 5 hours and does all the house and yard work as well as the cooking and shopping. I read, sleep, mind my 7 month old grand bub for a few hours on a Monday and Friday, and watch mid day movie. I have to push myself for 1 day a week 8 to 10 hours selling for a large retailer. Return home exhausted looking forward to my week of deep sleep and rest. Anybody got any ideas why please love to hear.

  13. Nicki

    I am finding that I am requiring more sleep now in my sixties. I also slept long hours as a teenager and understand that it was natural as we grow through adolescence. As an adult from my twenties on to my fifties, I only needed 6 to7 hours of sleep and was on a very regular routine: in bed by 10pm and up before 5am for my run. This was my routine for more than 27 years. In the last 10 years I’ve experienced two concussions which I think I am now recovered from now. However wonder if it is related? I am still working in my profession however I do find it very difficult to go at the speed I used to and decision making is at times difficult. I work in a creative field which requires for me to develop new ideas. This too I wonder if it has an impact on my sleep being longer. I would love to go back to my old routine of 6-7 house of sleep. There is still much I want to do.

  14. Ruby

    I seem to regularly need 10 hours now and take ages to wake up properly. I’m 63 and not in paid work. When I was working was up with the alarm no problem and into work for an 8am start. I really was a morning person – hence so confused that I now need so much sleep

  15. Tricia

    I am so happy I found this! I have been dealing with this long sleeping thing forever. I require a minimum of 10 hours to feel well rested. I can easily sleep 12+ hours though. I have so much trouble waking up to alarms and have to set multiple alarms to make sure I actually get up. I am the mom to 13 year old twins and I struggle to get out of bed to get them ready for school and drive them in and as soon as I get home I go back to sleep. If I don’t go back to sleep, I am miserable and exhausted all day. Luckily i work later in the day because I give piano lessons. I use to be a school teacher but I stopped teaching when I had my daughters. Over the years my need for sleep has seemed to intensify. I keep thinking about going back to teaching in a school, but the thought of having to get up early every day is daunting. It has affected my quality of life. I never want to do morning activities. Friends and family joke that I’m lazy or love to sleep. I don’t “love” to sleep, I “need” to sleep. I’d give anything to be one of those people who sleeps 7 hours and then bounces out of bed fully energized and ready to start the day! People make snarky comments all the time and I get so insulted. I have so much guilt and shame and embarrassment over my long hours of sleep. I feel like a bad mom and an unproductive person. I’ve done sleep studies to make sure I don’t have sleep apnea. I’ve been to so many doctors and specialists. None seem to know what’s wrong or how to fix it. One doctor told me to just set my alarm and get up and don’t go back to sleep. But here’s my second problem – I have epilepsy. The seizures only happen in my sleep. Fatigue and sleep deprivation triggers the seizures. So I could wake myself up and stay awake and be miserable all day long, but then I’ll almost certainly have a seizure the following night. I wish there was a magic pill to take and I wish there was more known about this disorder. I read that it only affects 2% of the population. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this. If anyone on here finds herbal remedies or any more info, please share because I’m willing to try anything at this point.

    • Frieda

      I ampleased to find all of you and to know I am not alone. In my 60s, I now need 12 hours a night, sometimes 14. I don’t get a lot done, yet I don’t consider long sleep a disorder. My sleep is deep, without interruptions, accompanied by intense dreams, mostly from heaven, sometimes from hell, and like another writer told us, I believe my dreams are my other world, to the point where this waking world is the dream.

      I’ve been so lucky not to have to report to an employer. I cannot imagine the struggle of young parents. I don’t go to parties, go out dancing, attend evening movies. When others hint that I’m a social misfit, or don’t live up to potential, I ignore them. This is not a choice, but its not a problem either. But I am a little jealous of people who can work at night or dance till two.
      I sleep more in the winter, from last light to first. It may be that this is the “normal” pattern in the times before electricity. Researchers have found that people used to enjoy a long sleep, then an interregnum for making love or doing chores, and then a little sleep till dawn, a pattern that lessened in time as midsummer approached. In experiments they cut off electricity for 30 days, allowing the test group only natural light, and this is what happened. In a sense, the long sleepers are attuned to a more natural rhythm. I liketo think so, and that the other 98% are dazed, ill rested, and have been duped into thinking that its normal to party on forever or put in an 80 hour week.

      Thanks for listening.
      ) has

  16. Alexander

    I’ve been sleeping for 12-14 hours a night since childhood, and I don’t know what to do, it’s resulted in me being late for work and not being able to pick up the phone when people are calling to check in on me when I miss work or school. the other symptoms I have are the very vivid dreams, depression and anxiety on some days, deja-Vu with things on a daily basis and being sore and tired even after sleeping for so long, I don’t know if there is a way to prevent this from happening, alarms won’t wake me up, I’ve asked people to come wake me up and the noise from the door doesn’t phase me at all.

  17. Janet

    My parents have always laughed and just said I was lazy because most nights if I’m not interrupted I sleep for very long periods of time. 2 nights ago I slept for 18 hours. Totally missed the day away. This has been happening all my life. I, especially when i was younger, but also now, have very vivid dreams, mainly nightmares. When i was younger I had the same recurring nightmare for 2 years. Although I can sleep like this I have become aware that I shouldnt take naps during the day. Everytime I take naps I gets sleep paralysis. I am not really an introvert and love going out a meeting ppl. I do have depression, anxiety, PTSD, and some others though. It truly feels like I’m just sleeping my life away. It’s hard to even hang with friends bcus I’m just so tired. Not so much right now but a year back or so I was having very werid sleep problems where I would be sleeping but also aware of what’s going on around my house, like I could hear ppl downstairs, however, I was also aware that I was dreaming and just couldn’t wake up. I would be in my head like omg just wake up but instead I was stuck watching a random dream play out in my head. I dont think this is normal????

  18. Dawn

    Can sleep a LOT. Articles above are interesting. So long sleeping can be a thing for some people. Sounds like diet can help. Good to know. I also have tried to fight it. Sometimes tired of fighting it.

  19. Jules

    I’ve always been a long sleeper. I’m a 17 year old guy. My parents have always accepted the fact that I’m a long sleeper.I have never had any mental issues, nor have I had any health issues. I’m fit and toned, and I exercise a lot when I’m awake. I used to sleep for 14 hours a night between the ages of 12-15. I used to go to bed at 6:00, and wake up at 8:00. I managed to arrive at school on time and I still did quite well. The teachers at school never knew that I had an undiagnosed sleeping disorder. I’m a very deep sleeper.

    Being a long sleeper isn’t affecting my life at the moment. I go to bed at 8:15, fall asleep at around 8:30, and I get up at 6:30. I used to go to bed at 8:00 during the holidays and get up at around 1:00. I was fatigued and exhausted if I got less than 14 hours of sleep a night, and I felt well rested and refreshed after sleeping for at least 14 hours. I felt well rested after sleeping for 16 hours during the holidays. I started to need less sleep before I turned 16, and I started feeling refreshed after sleeping for 11 hours a night. Now I can even sleep for 9 hours and feel tired, but not to bad. I need around 10-11 hours of sleep a night.

    The cause of needing a lot of sleep is unknown. It’s best to go to bed as early as possible, and sleep as much as you need to. That’s what I do, and I manage my long sleeper syndrome quite well.

  20. colleen

    I am glad to find this. I have been a sleeper all my life I think we should get a web page and with enough people trying to find help we could get some answers. I know that vitamins help a lot and the more sun I get the better I feel. I also have trying Astro projection. and sounds like a lot of you do it with out knowing what it is. I’m thinking that many our body’s make to much melitonion. I probably spelled that wrong. any way we need to find out what it is that’s making us sleep our life away.- give me about a month and than email me and I will find out how to get us all together to figure this Mistry out so we can have a
    good life. my dad used to tell people that I always get my nap over with before I get up so that I could be up for all day.

  21. Billy

    With my situation, I just graduated high school and got a factory job 3 months ago, working 12 hour shifts from 3am-3pm, Sun-Mon. Since I love video games and watching youtube, I typically stay up to about 10 or 11pm, only getting 2 to 3 hours of sleep a day, and usually I can function just fine on that amount of sleep, although a bit groggy, but I have never let myself fall asleep at work. I usually drink lots of pepsi, and some iced coffee if I’m really tired. Anyways, when my two day weekend rolls around on friday and saturday, I sleep a lot, just last night I slept from 5pm to 7:30am this morning. I feel great, and actually had a dream that I woke up earlier and walked around, then I woke up for real haha. The most I’ve slept is 16 hours as a young teen, but I usually sleep naturally for about 12 hours.

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