Insomnia: Suddenly Sleeping All the Time
Last updated: April 2023
I went from getting very little sleep to sleeping all the time. Despite these extra hours (yes, hours) of sleep, I still feel exhausted. In fact, I find myself feeling like I cannot get enough sleep even though I am sleeping 7, 8, and 9 hours a day.
Now, I am well aware that this is a sign of depression and I am very vigilant at tracking my mental health. However, this is not a mental health issue. This is an issue with physical exhaustion. Sleep is not resolving the feeling of exhaustion. In fact, the more I sleep, the worse I feel.
Tired of being tired despite sleeping
As someone who has had insomnia for most of my life, I have always wished I could get more sleep. Now that I have consistently received the recommended amount of sleep for almost 2 weeks, I have changed my mind. I feel worse, not better.
Perhaps I am coming down with something. Perhaps it is because I just got over something. Regardless of the reason, I am tired of being this tired. I have felt more rested on 3 and 4 hours of sleep than I do right now.
Illness makes fatigue worse
The side effects of several illnesses are lingering fatigue, so perhaps this is something hanging on from a recent illness. No matter what the cause, I just want things to go back to normal. I can actually sleep right now, but I feel like I am not sleeping at all. This is pure exhaustion.
I actually slept for 10 hours uninterrupted one day. For me, that is like sleeping forever considering my normal sleep patterns. When I woke up and realized how long I slept, I assumed I would feel refreshed and energetic.
Instead, I felt depleted. I find myself dragging through each day and every little bit of physical activity feels like I am trying to climb a mountain.
Used to functioning on little sleep
I think part of the problem is that having chronic insomnia means my body has adjusted to functioning on less sleep. Of course, there is a physical component to my exhaustion, but I think the sudden change in sleep patterns has wreaked havoc on my mind as well. I feel much the same as I do when I only get an hour or 2 of sleep, but it is amplified.
Mental health impacts
While I am concerned about the physical effects of this exhaustion, I am also concerned about the mental impact of these changes. We all know how important it is to keep mental health issues in check, so I am closely monitoring changes to make sure I do not miss any warning signs. At the moment, I have no major issues, but I know how quickly that can change.
Have you experienced a sudden increase in sleep time? If so, did it have this type of impact? Have you dealt with an illness that causes exhaustion despite getting more sleep? This shift has me out of sorts, and I would love to hear about others’ experiences.
What do you do at night when you can't sleep?