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Hi, everyone. Recently my boyfriend has developed a very distressing problem- He is in college, and every other week or so he sleeps for days, despite of alarms. The most he has slept so far is 7 days, but commonly he'll sleep for 3 to 5 days. Every since I have known him, he has slept a lot- When given the chance, about 12-14 hours. But in the last year, his problem has worsened, and only when he is away from me (he is more depressed). He used to go into a half-awake state for days, being only semi-conscious and dreaming but not aware of his surroundings. Now, when he is especially tired or sick, he will go into a full out sleep for days. He is an A student, but this year I am afraid he will not do well because he misses SO many of his classes. He can not only sleep through very loud alarms, but sometimes his roommate will unplug his alarm clock. His parents are I are very concerned, and not only is it a problem for him, but it definitely is painful to be out of touch for so long. He has had problems with daytime sleepiness (falling asleep in a chair, or in the shower, etc.) but really he has no signs other than the excessive sleeping. When he wakes up, he is temporarily dazed and unable to eat more than a bite or so. Do you have any input as to what this could be, and how to work around it? Do you have a similar problem? Thanks!

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H Habronattus,

Your boyfriend needs to see his doctor, now.  There are some medical conditions that can cause sleepiness. 

It could also be related to his depression.  Is he taking any meds?

There are also sleeping disorders.  One such disorder is Kleine-Levin Disorder, or   It usually happens to young men.  It can cause personality disorders.

Regardless, he should not delay seeing his doctor.

Good luck.


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Thanks for the reply! He saw the doctor at his college, but, not surprisingly, the doctor did not take him too seriously (Oh, set alarms, exercise, etc.), but I will try to persuade his parents to seek better medical attention. He does not take anti-depressants.
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This sounds like hypersomnia, usually it is related to depression. It is not harmful body wise, however, it will heavily impact on his daily life - you cannot function normally if you sleep for days on end. He will not be able to hold up at university or to get a full-time job.

Or, he COULD have narcolepsy, but that's a slightly different matter.
- Does he experience an unresistable urge to go to sleep during the day?
- Does he randomly seem to pass out during normal activities, like eating, showering, etc.?
- Does he pass out when he gets overstimulated? I.e excited, stressed, enraged?
- Does he seem to awake very suddenly?

If his symptoms match these, he could very well be narcoleptic. Narcolepsy is only managable with medication, he will not be able to lead a normal life without treatment.

He needs to speak to a good psychiatrist/neurologist. This problem should not be ignored.
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I sleep for up to 3 days every two weeks. I have tried load of different medication. I get fatigue days inbetween. I have been tested for thyroid, blood tests, hospital tests, seen specialists but at the moment they class me having a metabolic disorder....I do have good days, a few and I make the most of them, usually preparing for my "demeter" days. Life has been complicated but until someone knows about these disorders there is not much we can do apart from keep posting and hopefully someone will know whats going on.
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Many guys in early 20's are the same. The behavior can cause heart disease later in life especially if that lifestyle follows him as he gets older. If he does see MD for the affliction think long and hard about taking medication for it. Many times medications have side effects that bring on other problems. Good luck.
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Can you describe his nutrition habits please.
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I have suffered from very similar symptoms for YEARS, without any diagnosis until I took a med for a non-related emergency, which whacked me out mentally for months. It took forever for me to convince them that med was somehow messing with me TERRIBLY. They sent me to a behavioral health clinic and it took them some time but they diagnosed me as bipolar, which the type I have, without proper meds, can affect a person with days and days of sleeping. I've had the sleeping probs since college and I'm now turning 47! I've been tested for all kinds ignoring things and it wasn't until this that I've found the help I needed. I have been taking meds for hereditary depression since my early 20's but, after they added what is called a mood stabilizer (which doesn't always work for everyone by the way), and finally got the dosing levels right, I have finally started having more normal times without the "sleep days" as I call them. It was getting so bad before diagnosis that it was all I could do to even continue ur to work my part time job and also care for my elderly parents on my off days. I used to think I had a sleeping disease, or allergic to maybe a food(s), sugar, yeast, etc. The doctors always tested for mono, thyroid, diabetes, & anemia ever since I was 18+! I wish I would've been diagnosed sooner and although it was sooo difficult to hear I was bipolar, a ton of things started making sense and I was able to get help medicinally and through at this point weekly counseling to help me work through some othe bipolar issues and non related things also. I sure hope this helps all those out there! I would strongly suggest that people be tested for all those things first that they tested me for AND I never knew this but there's TWO versions of narcolepsy and I had almost thought maybe that was what was wrong with me once I found out that not all of them just collapse in sleep instantly so, please be sure to look into that too but please, if everything is ruled out, try a behavioral health clinic and ask about the possibilities of being bipolar (and just to settle any fears about meds, they aren't all as bad as it used to be back in the early days of bipolar treatment). Best of diagnosis to each of you!!!
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