The technological term because that a depression nap is hypersomnia, "which means that you’re sleeping too much."

You may have seen the memes on Twitter — gifs about falling into bed, hiding under the covers or just collapsing onto the ground because that a so-called “depression nap.” The principle describes a lie-down that lets you escape the world through sleep when you’re tired, stressed, anxious or emotion down.

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Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, that keeps making background with twists and also turns in competition, talked around using sleep come escape depression after revealing she had actually coped v being sexually abused by previous team doctor Larry Nassar by trying to sleep turn off what happened.

“I told among my lawyers, i said, ‘I sleep every the time, due to the fact that it’s the closest thing to death,’” Biles said throughout a conversation for the new YouTube series, “If I can Tell You just One Thing.”


Dr. Natalie Azar, NBC news clinical contributor, stated the technical term because that a depression nap is hypersomnia, "which means that you’re sleeping too much."

In fact, naps deserve to be good for you. Recent proof finds the one or two daytime naps a week might be attached to a reduced risk the heart assault or stroke. And also nap length, i m sorry can encompass anything from a quick, five-minute catnap to an hour or much more snooze, doesn"t it seems to be ~ to do a difference. Still, when it involves daytime naps, there"s seems to it is in a good line between a healthy and balanced refresh and an clues of a problem.

Depression and sleep

Experts agree that depression is intimately linked to problems with sleep.

“Disturbance in sleep is a cardinal symptom the depression,” Myrna M. Weissman, a professor the epidemiology and also psychiatry in ~ Columbia University, said She provided these disturbances can take a selection of forms, consisting of insomnia, an inability to fall asleep, a tendency to wake up during the night or a tendency to feel worse in the morning ~ above rising.

According to Harvard medical School, a range of studies indicate that between 65 come 90 percent that adult patients with significant depression suffer some type of sleep problem. A 2012 study released in the journal Sleep discovered sleep disturbances prefer snorting and also stopping breathing to be strongly linked with incidence of major depression.

A "depression nap" might not average you’re depressed.

Most often, clinical depression is linked to some kind of insomnia, said Dr. Rochelle Zak, a sleep medication specialist in ~ the college of California san Francisco Sleep obstacle Center.

“Depression is less likely to an outcome in daytime sleepiness,” Zak said. “Often, civilization are hyper-aroused, for this reason they would love come nap yet they can’t.”


Young world in your 20s and also 30s who room experiencing boosted sleepiness throughout the day and who are taking this so-called “depression naps” may actually be sleep-deprived fairly than clinically depressed, Zak explained. They might be working long days or safety too much time ~ above their display screens at night, causing poorer sleep top quality and an ext stress, she said.

The "depression nap" as an escape

What"s the trouble with napping? world may be using these naps as a type of escape, claimed Dr. Helen M. Farrell, a psychiatrist in ~ Harvard clinical School and also Beth Israel Deaconess clinical Center.


“Personally and professionally, ns don’t favor the expression ‘depression naps’ and also would deter patient from using that phrase and taking that type of ‘nap,’” Farrell said. While naps are meant to be restorative and also energizing, these species of naps actually can be one unhealthy way of taking care of your feelings, becoming a type of defense mechanism, she said.


“It’s really important for people to be able to tolerate your feelings and practice healthy coping skills that combat depression, quite than succumbing to it,” Farrell explained.

Emanuel Maidenberg, a clinical professor that psychiatry at the college of California, Los Angeles, agreed together naps could be a coping mechanism, noting they can either it is in a symptom the low power or a way for world to avoid hopeless or helpless thoughts.

“It have the right to be helpful in the quick run, yet recurrent dependency on naps becomes a potential device of depression maintenance,” that explained.

When to look for help

When perform depression naps walk from Twitter joke to crucial sign that you might need come seek medical help?

“The crucial to a healthy nap is the it’s short, infrequent and also energizing — usually referred to as ‘power naps,’” Farrell said.

When naps grow longer and also start to feeling draining fairly than restorative, or when they reason someone to miss out on out on vital work or life events, it might be time to seek experienced attention, Farrell noted.

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Also, if napping is add by various other symptoms the depression, favor low energy, problem concentrating, or low mood, climate professional help can it is in extremely helpful — and even life-saving, she said.