Why does my husband sleep *SO* much?

ask-a-professional
cocaine
recovery

#1

My husband is about 2 years on from a serious cocaine addiction which kept him up for days on end and he experienced many sleepless nights. Now he sleeps consistently 10 hours a night or more. Why does he need so much sleep? Is his body still repairing? I think it may have been depression at times, but even in happy times he seems to sleep so much. I thought it would be something that would get better, is it still too early?

Has anyone seen this in their loved one in their recovery - generally or perhaps involving cocaine specifically?

Still wondering and love to hear newcomer’s experiences on this topic. I think my husband has a sleeping superpower!!


#2

I’m not sure, but the brain heals when you sleep. It could be depression also. He should go see a dr.


#3

My son can sleep long hours as well and did so on binges during addiction… while I don’t know why for sure, it can be an escape, repair for heath and healing, difficulty in motivation to do something or maybe boredom. It does bother the rest of the family members because we then are a bit resentful that we are moving and getting things done while they sleep. Not sure of a remedy except to talk about it and may need to talk about it more than once


#4

Thanks so much for this @Marie_Marie it means a lot to know I am not alone in experiencing this since it drives me a bit mad!!! :slight_smile:


#5

I have seen this in my brother’s recovery (opiate specific, not cocaine). He has always experienced hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive time spent sleeping), getting him up to go to school when we were younger living at our parents was always a HUGE family struggle/fight. Even pouring ice on him wouldn’t get him out of bed. Before he started abusing drugs and alcohol he suffered from depression, and this oversleeping is both a symptom of depression and can cause feelings of depression. So when he would wake up after 12 hours of sleep and feel groggy, what some would call a “sleep hangover”, and upset that he slept through the day, he would tell himself “I’ll feel better if I just go back to sleep.” Well, that didn’t work for him! He is almost 3 years off of heroin and fentanyl and can still sleep for 12 hours +. This past week he slept so much he was so late to meet me at 12:30pm because he overslept and it made me mad, and my parents expressed disappointment, which made him feel even worse! I can really relate and it’s hard to not be driven to madness, but I’ve found that ultimately that doesn’t help.

When it comes to those in recovery from cocaine, which like you said @polly “kept him up for days on end”, it can take a long time for the body to recover from the stress and sleep dysregulation experienced when using. However, PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) tends to dissipate after 6 months to 2 years abstinent, so this may be attributed to PAWS, or perhaps a sleep disorder.

If you haven’t already, maybe try some simple sleep hygiene techniques:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule: go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day (keeping a sleep diary can help with this)
  • Avoid naps!
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 10 minutes due to mind racing get out of bed and sit on the couch or a chair until you feel sleepy. Don’t turn on the TV!
  • Don’t watch TV, play on your tablet, or go on your phone in bed. Not only does the light interfere with the ability to sleep, it also creates an association of being in bed and wakefulness. And just to be clear, the bed is meant for two things only: sleep and sex!
  • Consider looking into a lamp that acts as an alarm clock, by getting very bright in the morning to help the body wake up.
  • Once the alarm goes off, get out of bed immediately.
  • Within the first 2 hours of waking up, make sure you get outside for natural sunlight for at least 15 minutes.

These are just a few tips, of course, if nothing helps, I’d recommend seeing a sleep specialist (they exist, I’ve been to one!)


#6

Yes it seems excessive sleeping hits a nerve!
What gets me crazy is not stepping up to his/her responsibilities and opportunities.


#11

I agree with Erica. I believe that the sleeping is due to not being able to cope with how they used to be able to live. Sleeping allows him to not think about getting Coke.


#7

I have to 2nd everything @Erica said. My fiance either can’t sleep at all or can sleep all day. I feel like depression is a very large part of it. Getting on a regular routine has helped enormously and we’re still working on it. Having a healthy routine is the foundation to grow off. Coming from cocaine use, all I can say is time and a consistent routine


#8

Thanks @Dean_Acton - how much time :slight_smile: ? Like years?
Routine is interesting. It brings up another question I’m going to post!


#9

It all depends on the person, their life situation. There’s no way to give you a time table, just consistent effort, staying clean, sticking to the routine and you’ll see progress in time


#10

thanks @Dean_Acton !