Monday, 4 August 2008

I'm Not Lazy, I've Got A Sleep Disorder

I often sleep for 12 - 14 hours, and it takes me a long time to fully "wake up" - I'm drowsy for hours after getting out of bed, I will mostly just fall back to sleep and nap for two or three more hours. This means that some days in the week I am awake for very few hours in the day.

This fact astonishes and sometimes disgusts my friends: when I say I still sleep until mid-afternoon, I am accused of chronic laziness, of being immature, which is frustrating and embarrasing. I've been hoping for years to find out that it is beyond my control; now reading sites like and, I can contend that I have a sleep disorder, perhaps hypersomnia.

Sleep disorders are well-documented in the US, but are a relatively ignored phenomenon in the UK (although it's tricky to find a sleep disorder site not set up by a bed/mattress company). To read more about sleep disorders, go here.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I'm registered disabled with a circadian rhythm disorder called "non 24 hour sleep wake syndrome". It's so frustrating when people think you're lazy or self-indulgent and you could snap out of it if you wanted. It's most dissapointing coming from a health professional.

People seem to get terribly indignant about someone being asleep in the late afternoon. What is that? In fact I tend to sleep in my clothes so if someone knocks on the door I can just spring out of bed and pretend I was awake the whole time (and hope they don't notice I'm blacking out because I got up too fast. =) )

Anyway, I strongly suggest you start keeping a sleep log to get a better idea of what's going on. Just write down what time you fell asleep, what time you woke up and plot it on a graph if you want.

If you want, you can add notes about how you feel and why you woke up early if some buffoon woke you up.

I've been keeping one for three years and my body clock thinks there are 26 hours in a day and it makes this beautifully straight (diagonal) line on the graph.