home
RSS
Sleeping through the holidays
December 20th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Sleeping through the holidays

Last year around this time, my friend Sue called worried about her college-age son Charlie because he seemed to be sleeping away his whole Christmas vacation.

“At first, I thought, OK, he is just catching up because he was up many nights studying for finals. But now two weeks have gone by and he is still sleeping the day away.”

There are a number of reasons that college kids or teens could be sleeping all day. As my friend suspected, we do indeed try to “catch up” on sleep. It seems to work to a certain extent, but we can’t make up for the full amount of sleep lost.

Also, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that we “lose” when we lose sleep. So Charlie could have been studying (and partying?) very hard before the holiday break and would indeed have the tendency to sleep in.

However, it is doubtful that the catch-up period would last for weeks. Most teens and college kids require nine to nine and a half hours to feel their best. If they curtail their sleep for a few nights, they will usually have long sleep times for one to two nights. If they are chronically sleep deprived, then that period will be extended.

Of course, we must keep in the mind that sleeping for extended periods could be a sign of illness.

Diseases such as mononucleosis or depression can have an insidious onset marked by sleepiness and fatigue.

The sleepy college kid or teen might have developed a primary sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (now known as Willis-Ekbom disease) or periodic limb movement disorder. Most importantly in this age group, narcolepsy should be considered.

Get some sleep: Is restless legs syndrome real?

The telltale feature of narcolepsy is daytime sleepiness, and it usually occurs in teens and young adults. People can have actual sleep attacks where one minute they are awake and the next they are asleep. They could be driving or talking to someone and without much warning, they fall asleep.

Many times, the sleepiness is not so dramatic; people can have profound sleepiness that impairs their quality of life, but still be able to fight off the sleep attacks.

The other hallmark symptom is cataplexy which is often confused with sleep attacks. In cataplexy, the muscles become suddenly relaxed and people can fall to the ground and seem to faint. Muscle relaxation is a feature of REM sleep and what has happened is that that one aspect of REM sleep has suddenly intruded into the wake state. Cataplexy usually occurs after a person is startled or has a sudden burst of emotion, often a good one such as suddenly finding something very funny. Narcolepsy can, and often does, occur without cataplexy.

Therefore, although the presence of cataplexy cinches the diagnosis, the absence does not rule out narcolepsy by any means. A suspicion of narcolepsy should be investigated with a sleep specialist.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome is another disorder that should be considered if the young person has recurrent episodes of sleepiness and long sleep times. It is a rare and poorly understood disorder marked not only by hypersomnia (sleepiness) but also by megaphagia (overeating) and hypersexuality (usually masturbation).

In the wake periods, there is almost always cognitive and mood disturbance. The episodes last anywhere from two days to four weeks and tend to recur at least once a year, although there is a tendency for them to abate over time. It is much more common in boys and young men than in women, although there is a well described hypersomnia syndrome that can occur during menstruation. The cause of Kleine-Levin Syndrome is unknown and none of the attempts at treatment has given consistent results.

An important question to ask is what time the teen went to sleep. Teens and young adults have a natural shift in their circadian rhythm such that they are naturally sleepy only later in the night, for example, midnight-1 am. And the lifestyle of young people often encourages an even more delayed bedtime.

Therefore, before you assume that your college kid has a sleep pathology that is making him sleep for 16 hours a day, find out when he finally finished gaming and when he stopped texting his girlfriend who is visiting her family in a time zone that is three hours behind.

It turned out that Charlie was sleeping 10 hours a day, from 4 am to 2 pm, which, although on the long side, is still considered well within normal limits. Staying up late, as I said, is a biological tendency that is reinforced and exacerbated by social norms in that age group. The pervasiveness of continual electronics use only makes matters worse.

Post by:
Filed under: Mind and body • Sleep • Stress

soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. get pdf

    Grammar In Use Mod Apk Up Board Result 2013 – Upresults.Nic.In

    Feel free to visit my site: get pdf

    February 17, 2021 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. orlando italian restaurants

    I saw a lot of website but I conceive this one contains something special in it in it

    https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/christinis-ristorante-italiano/Location?oid=2292646

    February 18, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Social-Media Services-2020

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    February 19, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. SocialMedia Services2021

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/auth/signup

    https://bit.ly/3iVO2Vh

    February 19, 2021 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ClarkTauts

    qjpq4 2ip1q kohd

    February 28, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ClarkTauts

    zlq7b ky1s6 6yzx

    March 1, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Washington Park, Denver, CO

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    March 20, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Barnum West, Denver, CO

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.

    https://www.wtnzfox43.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 20, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Window Cleaning Service Cheesman Park, Denver, CO

    carry on, dont stop

    https://lifestyle.koltcountry.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 20, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 如何訂購偉哥

    Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

    March 24, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Window Cleaning Service Baker, Denver, CO

    Keep this going please, great job!

    https://lifestyle.xtra1063.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 25, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Best Window Washing Service Near Me LoDo, Denver, CO

    Thank you, I've just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

    https://lifestyle.countrylegends1059.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 25, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Window Washing Service Belcaro, Denver, CO

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful

    https://lifestyle.967wshv.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 25, 2021 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Window Washing Service University Hills, Denver, CO

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.

    https://www.newschannelnebraska.com/story/43461794/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business

    March 25, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. best restaurant Orlando

    Thank You for your information

    https://italianrestaurantorlando.blogspot.com/2021/03/why-are-italian-restaurants-so-popular.html

    March 26, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. best Italian Orlando

    Wow this blog is very nice!

    https://www.behance.net/gallery/115707363/Finding-Your-Favorite-Italian-Restaurant-in-Your-Area

    March 26, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Italian Orlando

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.

    https://christinisristoranteitaliano.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/italian-restaurants-are-the-best-places-to-go-for-a-night-out/

    March 26, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. tree removal services South Park Phoenix, AZ

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up

    https://beavertreeservices.tumblr.com/post/645924617753673728/tree-trimming-is-not-for-everyone

    March 26, 2021 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cost to remove tree Southern Gardens Phoenix, AZ

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful

    https://beavertreeservices720592705.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/advantages-derived-from-tree-removal-services/

    March 27, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. auto body collision repair Raleigh

    Impressive! Thanks for the post

    https://autobodyrepairraleigh.blogspot.com/2021/03/looking-for-best-auto-body-repair-shop.html

    March 27, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ac unit repair Mission, TX

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.

    https://acrepairmissiontx.tumblr.com/post/646014129415553024/why-it-is-important-to-pick-a-quality-air

    March 27, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. basement remodel cost Columbus, OH

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.

    https://basementremodelcolumbusohio.blogspot.com/2021/03/all-about-basement-remodeling.html

    March 27, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Window Cleaning Service River North Art District, Denver, CO

    Great article. Couldn't be write much better! Keep it up!

    http://www.hawaiinewsupdates.com/news/story/241487/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business.html

    March 28, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Park Hill, Denver, CO

    Thanks for the information.

    http://news.tennesseeheadlines.com/story/306385/signature-window-washing-company-celebrates-6-years-in-business.html

    March 28, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Baker, Denver, CO

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    http://google.hr/url?q=https://goo.gl/maps/hwAqB4KE4ybHPmDK9

    March 28, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Five Points, Denver, CO

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.

    https://google.bg/url?q=https://goo.gl/maps/hwAqB4KE4ybHPmDK9

    March 28, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Window Cleaning Service LoDo, Denver, CO

    This blog is great check it out

    http://google.com.ai/url?q=https://posts.gle/FaTsydGwPrG8sewb9

    March 28, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. best italian restaurants in orlando

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.jiliblog.com/57564771/myths-about-italian-restaurants

    April 8, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. best Italian Orlando

    Thanks for the information.

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.diowebhost.com/53585008/five-must-try-dishes-at-your-local-italian-restaurant

    April 8, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. fine dining Orlando

    Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up.

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.amoblog.com/how-to-pick-italian-restaurants-21081910

    April 8, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. best restaurant Orlando

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.arwebo.com/22867494/a-guide-to-extraordinary-italian-restaurants

    April 8, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. italian restaurants orlando

    A great read. I'll definitely be back.

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.blog2learn.com/46382743/healthy-eating-options-available-at-italian-restaurants

    April 8, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. italian restaurants downtown orlando

    very nice! Ireally like your blog

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.blogzag.com/43803718/italian-restaurant-good-service-matters

    April 8, 2021 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. italian restaurants orlando

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.mpeblog.com/23121470/what-italian-restaurants-have-to-offer-that-others-do-not

    April 8, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. best italian restaurants in orlando

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.alltdesign.com/basic-food-options-offered-by-italian-restaurants-19619869

    April 8, 2021 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. italian restaurants orlando

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.

    http://italianrestaurantorlando.blogdigy.com/the-local-italian-restaurant-has-much-more-to-offer-13456315

    April 8, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Highland, Denver, CO

    This blog is great check it out

    http://dailynewsviral.info/content-marketing-in-sam-ramon-ca/

    April 9, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Best Window Washing Service Near Me Platt Park, Denver, CO

    Fairly high-quality explanation. continue the good work

    http://activealert.us/content-marketing-in-sam-ramon-ca/

    April 9, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Belcaro, Denver, CO

    Thank You for your information

    http://580washingtonave.com/content-marketing-in-sam-ramon-ca/

    April 9, 2021 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Jefferson Park, Denver, CO

    Fairly high-quality explanation. continue the good work

    https://www.bizwiki.com/window-cleaning/17209499/signature-window-washing.htm

    April 9, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Window Cleaning Service Villa Park, Denver, CO

    carry on, dont stop

    https://www.chamberofcommerce.com/united-states/colorado/denver/abrasive-products-manufacturers/2011452241-signature-window-washing

    April 9, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Park Hill, Denver, CO

    Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You're doing a great job.Keep it up

    https://citysquares.com/b/signature-window-washing-23572866

    April 9, 2021 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Platt Park, Denver, CO

    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

    https://www.cylex.us.com/company/signature-window-washing-28558292.html

    April 9, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Highland, Denver, CO

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful

    https://www.elocal.com/profile/signature-window-washing-20438183

    April 9, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me South Park Hill, Denver, CO

    nice information for a new blogger. it is really helpful

    https://ezlocal.com/co/denver/window-cleaning-service/0916246364

    April 9, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Best Window Cleaning Service Near Me Southmoor Park, Denver, CO

    Fairly high-quality explanation. continue the good work

    https://www.localdatabase.com/l/signature-window-washing-denver

    April 9, 2021 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Myprivateproxy

    Thanks for your information on this blog. A single thing I would wish to say is the fact purchasing electronics items over the Internet is not new. Actually, in the past ten years alone, the market for online consumer electronics has grown significantly. Today, you will find practically almost any electronic system and product on the Internet, which include cameras and camcorders to computer elements and games consoles.

    https://dreamproxies.com/buy-proxies/2000-private-proxies/

    April 9, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Window Washing Service Southmoor Park, Denver, CO

    Thank You for your information

    https://www.showmelocal.com/profile.aspx?bid=23190647

    April 10, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Best Window Washing Service Near Me South Park Hill, Denver, CO

    thanks for sharing!

    https://uscity.net/listing/signature_window_washing-9948834

    April 10, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Window Cleaning Service West Colfax, Denver, CO

    I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.

    http://www.yellowmoxie.com/550947371.ym#.YDpNflUzbIU

    April 10, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.