Excessive sleep: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment

The term ‘maladaptive reverie’ has recently been proposed to refer to persistent absorption into one’s own fantasies, significantly affecting functionality and daily activities.

We will see in this article what is excessive sleepWhat are some of its possible causes and the effectiveness of its treatment.

    What is excessive sleep? symptoms

    ‘Excessive sleep’ is a newly generated construct to describe the tendency to recurrently distract oneself from one’s own fantasies, which ultimately generates a significant experience of stress, as well as difficulty in performing daily tasks.

    It is defined as: “an extended fantastic activity which replaces human interaction and / or interferes with interpersonal, academic or professional functionality” (Sommer, 2015). In this sense, excessive sleep is characterized by psychological dependence manifested by a constraint to be abstracted into compulsive fantasies. As such, it is difficult to control. Sometimes it can go on for hours and sometimes even days, which ultimately affects the person’s day-to-day responsibilities.

    The description of excessive sleep has gained popularity among frequent Internet users around the world, who have communicated to talk about their dream experiences. In fact, this experience is linked to a high daily exposure time on the Internet.

    In particular, they reported the following characteristics of excessive sleep:

    • The person recognizes that he has this tendency to abstract himself intensely in his childhood fantasies.
    • In private, it generates rituals that facilitate the state of sleep (eg walks, listening to music).
    • They relate this to experiences of distress during previous life cycles, especially during childhood and adolescence.
    • Excessive sleep is recognized as a mental habit which is also an obstacle to the performance of daily activities.

    Some studies on this type of insomnia

    The dream and the world of fantasies have long been studied by psychology since its inception. These experiences have gone through approaches of different approaches. They range from psychoanalytic postulates which relate excessive sleep to deprivation and latent psychic conflicts, to cognitive-behavioral theories, which differ between a constructive dream related to creativity, and 1 compulsive linked to attention deficits or avoidant behaviors.

    This has led to various studies on the nature of sleep and excessive sleep. Between them, a difference was found in quantitative terms, in terms of content, in terms of experiencing stress and feeling in control, as well as in terms of interference in the functionality of the person.

    It could indicate excessive sleepiness shares many of the characteristics of addiction to certain behaviors. However, studies have concluded that more research is needed to determine if this is a specific disorder or clinical picture, or if it is one of the characteristics associated with different types of addiction.

    It is also necessary to determine whether this is a specific syndrome or a feature of other clinical conditions such as dissociative disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Anyway, a standardized instrument already exists to analyze whether a dream experience is normal or excessive.

    This is the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale, which is a self-validated instrument in the Anglo-Saxon population of 45 different countries. The same scale relates excessive sleep scores to obsessive-compulsive behaviors and thinking, dissociation, attention deficit, as well as sense of presence during insomnia and the possibility of psychotic manifestations.


      The content of fantasies, according to reports of so-called excessive sonar, is often characterized by problems involving emotional support, competence, and social recognition.

      In this sense, the dream is heartwarming and rewarding because it is a relief from the associated daily stressors, For example, with the promotion of excessive individualism and high demands for social recognition. It also concerns plans for adapting to these stressors and the compensation alternatives available.


      In terms of treatment, much of the scientific literature agrees that more research is needed to obtain conclusive results. however, Empirical studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment in such cases. Specifically, Eli Somer (2018) from the University of Haifa in Israel, reported the psychotherapy course in 25 men who exhibited excessive sleep. The treatment plan included cognitive-behavioral interventions as well as mindfulness-style meditation.

      It lasted 6 months and its results were evaluated periodically. In conclusion, people have reduced the time of their general dreams by over 50% and the time they spend on the Internet by 70%. The latter has resulted in improved social functionality and work. However, maladaptive-type sleep improved to a lesser extent, as did self-reported pleasure or gratification associated with dreaming of omelets.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Schupak, C. and Rosenthal, J. (2008). Excessive Daydreaming: A Case Story and Discussion of the Wandering Spirit and a Great Fantastic Inclination. Accessed September 27, 2018.Available at https://web.archive.org/web/20121025225258/http://www.scribd.com/doc/9089146/Excessive-daydreaming-A-case-history-and- discussion – de-ment-errant-i-alta-fantasia-propensity.
      • Somer, E. (2018). Adaptive daydreaming: qualitative research. Journal of Contemporary Pricotherapy, 32 (2/3): 197-212.
      • Somer, E. (2018). Adaptive reverie: ontological analysis, reason for treatment; a pilot case report. Frontiers in Psychotherapy and Trauma and Dissociation, 1 (2): 1-22.
      • Somer, E., Lehrfeld, J., Bigelsen, J. and Jopp, D. (2015). Development and validation of the maladaptive reverie scale (MDS). Consciousness and cognition, 39: 77-91.
      • Pietkiewicz, IJ., Nechki, S., Banbura, A. and Tomalski, R. (2018). Adaptive reverie as a new form of behavioral addiction. Diary of Behavior Addiction, 21: 1-6.

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