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All my boyfriend does is sleep, and I'm getting upset?

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (4 March 2013) 7 Answers - (Newest, 4 March 2013)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. I'm a senior and he's a college freshman. We spend time together, but most of that time is spent sleeping.

For example, we'll be skyping at 10pm usually, but he'll go to bed around 11-12. He'll wake up around 6 to get ready and go to school, and he'll be tired, so he'll sleep in class. He gets out around 2:30 and comes to my school to get me and we go to my place. As soon as we get there, he lays down and sleeps. Then at night, he'll go home, do homework, get on skype and the same cycle repeats. Even on weekends, he'll come over, and sleep. Or if we go out to eat, we'll talk in the car, eat (he doesn't like talking while eating) come home, and he'll sleep again! It leaves no time for us to really have any conversation because the only time we do talk is in the car, and before we eat.

I've tried talking to him about it, but he only says "You know I'm tired." At one point, he even told me "you never listen to me, I told you I'm tired." But really? I sleep at the same time as him, sometimes I get less sleep then he does, but he's always sleeping and even though I'm tired too, I stay awake to be with him, but all he wants is sleep sleep sleep. I feel like he'd rather sleep then be with me. He even has the nerve to say "I'm here with you, isn't that enough?" when I confront him about his sleeping problem. Even my family is asking me "why does he sleep so much" and "why does he come over if he's just going to sleep?"

Please help, i'm at my wits end. Is this normal? Should I just not talk to him and let him "catch up on his sleep" ? Please help. I'm so upset.

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A female reader, maverick494 United States +, writes (4 March 2013):

If he wakes up at 6am and goes to bed at 11/12, he's getting around 6/7 hours of sleep each day without the naps. I sustain on 5 hours of sleep every day for a temporary job that pays well, but it wears me out. I sleep in on the weekends.

If I'm reading this correctly, he's catching up on his sleep during school and when he's with you and not just an hour or two. That could point to a serious health problem. Cerberus is right that in some countries people take naps (siesta's), but the rest of their daily schedule is different as well because of that: they get up earlier and go to bed later. From what I'm reading your bf is packing about 10 hours of sleep every day. He shouldn't need that much.

Even when I'm tired (which I am most of the time) I don't have the audacity to sleep while I'm spending time with someone else. When I'm on my own, I take naps sometimes, but they usually make me feel worse rather than better.

Tell him that the reason you're getting on his case about his sleeping pattern isn't just frustration, but that you're worried something's wrong with his health. Ask him to go to the doctor and get some bloodwork done. He may be deficient in something. Is he otherwise slow (besides the sleeping problem) if he is he could be suffering from a serious illness.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 March 2013):

Actually it is kind of normal OP.

He only gets 6 hours of sleep a night so he's going to need to supplement that with a nap during the day.

Guys your age need about 8-9 hours of sleep a day. Especially seeing as he's in college and using his brain all day. If I don't get my full 8 hours I'll need a nap during the day too.

Look he could try and fix his schedule but that would mean going to bed at 10, every night without fail and then do the same at the weekends too or he'll just ruin his pattern and go back to being this way.

OP people get weird ideas about sleeping. Especially American's it seems. You guys seem to think anything but sleeping through the night after going to bed at about 11-12 is abnormal, but it's not.

Many cultures an afternoon nap is the norm. Spain for example have the siesta. There's some interesting info on the wiki page about that too.

Ever since I was a child my sleeping pattern was to sleep at 2am and wake up at about 11 or 12, my mother tried everything to change it but couldn't, doctors told her medically there was nothing wrong at all, there is no standard time people should sleep. I still can't sleep before that time, in the summers when I'm not working I can sleep right through to 12 or 1. When teaching I either take a nap during a break between classes or I have one when I get home.

OP you need to talk to him about this, but understand he doesn't have a sleeping problem. You try and go with 5-6 hours of sleep a night over a long term period and see how you feel after it. This is a problem for you, not him. So approach it in that way.

There is a compromise that can be reached here if you're willing to accept that this is not some kind of dysfunction on his behalf. He doesn't like talking while eating and then spends his time with you asleep then that's an issue in your relationship and one he should try to make more of an effort to rectify, but you do have to accept he may not be able design his pattern in a way you think he should.

Try and find a compromise that suits you both. You want more interaction in your relationship, you want more quality time with him but it sounds like he spends every day with you anyway OP or every day communicating. Maybe cut that back a bit.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive as what you want is more time with him, but quality counts more if you ask me than quantity. I mean he's talking to you up until about 10, gets up at 6, then at about 3 he has to go pick you up and go to your place, then he has to go home, do his homework and then back onto skype with you. That's a hell of a draining schedule if you ask me, I'd be exhausted if I had to put that much effort into life.

OP maybe it's time you made other arrangements during the week to be picked up by someone else and let him get on with his week without having to constantly be in touch with you, drive you home etc. You know being in a relationship and constantly having to consider another person and interact with them can be tiring too when put on top of such a full schedule. I mean everyone needs time to be able to be alone with their own thoughts and unwind, sounds like he has a tonne on his plate at the moment, maybe it would be best to limit your weekly get togethers, and stick to weekends until he's off for holidays and stuff. I mean all he does is sleep when with you during the week then maybe he needs that time to himself with promise he'll be fresh and ready to interact and have quality time during the weekends.

Look all I'm saying is that maybe removing yourself from his daily schedule in that way will give him a bit less to think about and have to do, which may make his weekends more energetic. Plus he'll have the chance the miss you during the week and then want proper quality time during the weekend. I say maybe it's worth a shot. Would you prefer a dozy boyfriend who is with you nearly all the time but is always asleep or tired or one who is fresh two days a week and more able to give you quality time then?

My point is OP, be willing to adapt here to fix this. It's not his problem to fix on his own, there are ways you can make life less taxing and give him some more free time to be able to rest up and be fresh for you.

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A male reader, Serpico United States +, writes (4 March 2013):

I survived on less than 6 hours of sleep per night from college all the way until I was about 40. His sleeping is not normal. I wonder if he is a pot smoker, because those are the only people I see sleep as much as you describe.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (4 March 2013):

CindyCares agony auntThe heck is normal.

When people sleep way more than average for their age, it is called hypersomnia. Hyper means " too much " and anything which is too much is not such a great thing by definition.

Hypersomnia may be primary, or idiopatic , i.e. generated in the brain- a sleep disturbance due to a malfunction of the regulation mechanisms of the wake / sleep cycle in the brain. In turn, these mechanisms may be altered just because, or due to serious neurological conditions - he should definitely see a neurologist.

Or, it can be secondary hypersomnia, i.e. an effect of other pathological conditions, like depression, bipolar disorder, chronic fatighue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, etc. etc.

It took us ages to convince my sister, that no, it's not normal to need at least 11 hours of sleep every night to feel rested in the morning ( she was not sleeping at daytime, though ) and it's not just that " some people need more sleep ". Eventually she got herself checked and found with an off-the-charts level of iron deficiency ( anemia ).

Your bf should really see a doctor- to do a favour to himself, not to you .

If you can't convince him, though, it does not bide well for the future of your relationship. It's a bad sign dismissing your concerns , considering only HIS priorities and self interest, and not even understand that people need to live their relationship in their AWAKE time. If he does not accept that this IS a relational problem that needs to be worked on, he is too self involved to be a good partner anyway, awake or sleeping.

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A male reader, dirtball United States +, writes (4 March 2013):

dirtball agony auntThis is not normal. That's actually one of the symptoms of Depression. I'm not licensed or anything, but that was my area of study as well as having personal experience with the subject.

Something is going on in him. It might be best to give him some space. Upset the routine.

Honestly though, if you've tried talking to him about it, and he keeps dismissing it, that is a bad sign. When one partner dismisses an obvious problem in a relationship it shows a lack of caring about said relationship.

Have you brought it to his attention that even your family is asking about it?

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A female reader, cute angel Australia +, writes (4 March 2013):

cute angel agony auntI think he needs to fix his boring!he needs to spruce up his life a little..

Instead of waking up and going to school,how about he goes for a walk in the morning or hit the gym a little later in the evening!you both could hit the gym together,or join a class together like salsa,jive,he needs to be a little active,he seems to be really dull,given his age he acts like 60+man.. And i understand sleep is important a good 7 to 8 hours but the rest of the time your boyfriends needs a little bit of action! Good luck OP

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 March 2013):

I can understand your frustration here... However the first thing that jumped out at me is the possibility that he may have a medical condition of which he is unaware. I would gently bring up the fact that this is possible, and see how he might react to seeing a doctor. In this case it's not just about you, you might be saving him from more serious complications.

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