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Sleepy Depressive

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"I want to sleep until the pain stops."
Moth Flight, Warriors: Moth Flight's Vision

This character is a Sleepyhead, but it's not a simple quirk. They're in too much mental pain to do anything but sleep. Maybe they've suffered a recent tragedy or maybe they suffer from (often untreated) mental illness, but this character spends a lot of time sleeping. There are also those who use sleeping, or more specifically dreaming, as escapism from their waking stress.

There is Truth in Television to this. A common symptom of several mental illnesses, including clinical depression (and atypical depression in particular), is lethargy and sleepiness.

Angst Coma is a more extreme version of this. Contrast with The Insomniac, who oftentimes are also depressed or otherwise not of sound mind yet have the opposite issue with sleep. Compare to Heroic Safe Mode and Asleep for Days. This trait is often seen in hikikomoris.


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    Comic Books 
  • It's mentioned in Blankets that the bullied and abused Craig used sleeping as escapism as a young child. Later, he turned to drawing instead.
  • In The Sandman (1989), Dream's pouch of sand ended up in the hands of John Constantine's junkie ex-girlfriend Rachel. When their relationship ended, Rachel used the sand as a drug to keep herself asleep all the time in order to cope with her depression. The effects of years of inactivity upon her already-unhealthy body are not pretty, and Dream ends up putting her in a permanent sleep, in order to spare her from the suffering that withdrawal would have brought.

    Fan Works 
  • Ambitious Love: Natsuki mentions that Kumiko spent a week eating nothing but sleeping pills and ice cream after Reina abandoned her the second time. She later attempted suicide but was saved before she bled out.
  • Franchouchou feat.: Sakura, still feeling a good chunk of her depression from the last season, becomes very lethargic after performing and has to rest up a lot, often going to bed straight after a rehearsal or live performance.
  • In Her Fractured Spirit, a sign of Callie's worsening depression is that she stays in bed all day.
  • After being tortured and blinded in Jack O'Lantern, Sarada finds that she enjoys sleeping more than she did before. This is because at least in her dreams she can still see. This is also why she rejects her sleeping pills; she finds even nightmares better than dreamless slumber.
  • We As Human has Sam Winchester sleeping for weeks on end from depression.
  • Weight of the World: As Alfred's depression and PTSD worsens, he spends days in bed and alternates between laying awake for hours and sleeping all day. One day he gets out of bed for only twenty minutes. He spends those minutes in an apathetic, exhausted haze before he mumbles that he's too tired and returns to bed. He goes back to sleep without eating or showering and feels worse because he did not accomplish anything that day. As he falls asleep, he tries and fails to reassure himself that he will feel better tomorrow. He doesn't.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Private Melvin in Renaissance Man is part of the loser DD squad because he's always falling asleep. Turns out it's how he copes with the fact that since he's left home, his step-father has turned to abusing his younger siblings.
  • In Scent of a Woman, Colonel Slade is planning on committing suicide after one last day of fun in New York City; once the day is over and the buildup to the actual suicide begins, he spends the next day in bed until noon, and when Charlie heads in to check on him, the man is absolutely despondent. Charlie tries to rouse Slade so that he can distract him from his real plans for the day, but is met with utter apathy... up until Charlie suggests that they test-drive a Ferrari.

  • In The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War, Adam's family takes in Ali, a teenager whose family was killed by soldiers while he hid under the bed. At first he's fairly active, but as time passes, he becomes more and more depressed, until he's spending almost all day in bed. Adam himself is always tired, even though he rarely leaves the house, and is worried he'll end up like Ali.
  • Nick Weller from The Boy Who Drew Monsters had a brother who was stillborn when he was seven. Afterwards, his mother lay on the couch and didn't get dressed. To Nick at the time, it felt like an eternity, but in hindsight he realizes the worst of it only lasted a few days.
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation: The protagonist. Unhappy with her life, she has instead fixated on sleeping for long periods of time, which she achieves through complex cocktails of drugs. She hopes to cast behind her old life once she awakens.
  • After being marooned on an ice planet in Red Dwarf: Better Than Life, Lister ends up being left so miserable by the course of his life since accidentally leaving Earth that all he can do is go to sleep. He ends up sleeping through the entire planet thawing out.
  • The Roosevelt: At the beginning of Carry the Ocean, Jeremey's untreated depression causes him to go to bed at about ten PM but often sleep until noon. Some days he doesn't get up at all.
  • Rubbernecker: After the death of Patrick's father when he was eight, his mother Sarah spent weeks doing almost nothing but sleeping. Patrick made himself sandwiches and got lifts to school with his Only Friend Weird Nick. Patrick and Sarah dislike each other, so he found her absence calming.
  • Small as an Elephant: After Jack's mom's manic episodes, she spends days and sometimes weeks in bed.
  • In Small Persons with Wings, Mellie's parents make the mistake of drinking the moonstone elixir, which reveals every Awful Truth about themselves. They spend most of the next day in bed, paralyzed by self-loathing.
  • Things I Should Have Known: After Ivy and Chloe's dad died of cancer, their mom often wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. The sisters had to get ready for school by themselves.
  • In A Thousand Splendid Suns Laila's chronically depressed mother spends most of her days in bed, leaving her 9-years-old daughter doing much of the house chores (even the ones a kid shouldn't do) by herself.
  • In An Unkindness of Ghosts, the mentally ill slave Giselle spends some time not wanting to do anything but lie in bed. Aster does this too for a few days after a child is publicly executed to punish Aster.
  • Warrior Cats: After the tragic death of her mate, Moth Flight begins eating excessive amounts of poppy seeds (which act like sleeping pills) so she'll sleep through her pain.
  • In Wicked, the lonely housewife Melena chews on leaves that often leave her passed out.
  • David from What to Say Next spends three days doing almost nothing but sleeping after his Secret Diary is leaked to the entire school under the name "The Retard's Guide to Mapleview".
  • Where the Crawdads Sing: After her first love Tate stops seeing her, Kya doesn't get out of bed for three days.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It all happens offscreen, but in Bones, one of Dr. Brennan's interns, Colin Fisher, had to take some time off due to being hospitalized for his depression. When he comes back, Hodgins makes a joke about it, only to be reprimanded by Cam. Hodgins backpedals and assures Colin that everyone's glad he didn't kill himself. Fisher takes it in stride and tells Hodgins he was never suicidal, he just spent eighteen hours a day in bed.
  • A backup singer in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal" reveals that after losing her job, she could barely get out of bed for six months. She's now on antidepressants and doing much better, apparently having found a new job after being medicated.
  • David Rose on Schitt's Creek sleeps all the time after emotional trauma, including when he first is exiled to the town, when the Blouse Barn shuts down and when he's on a break from Patrick.
  • During his worst period of depression in The Sopranos, Tony spends almost all his time sleeping.
    • Also briefly mentioned when he confronts Chris about his issues. Chris bitterly notes sleep is the only thing he looks forward to (lack of pleasure from things you normally enjoy being another big warning sign of depression).

  • In Epica's "Mother Of Light (A New Age Dawns Part II)", sleeping as a form of escapism is mentioned:
    Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction
    Whatever happens in my dreams—I know it can't be worse than this
    So I prefer to sleep
  • The narrator of "Imaginary" by Evanescence builds her "sleeping refuge," her own world in her head, to escape the horror of reality. The song mentions "alarm clock screaming monsters." And this:
    Swallowed up in the sound of my screaming
    Cannot cease for the fear of silent nights
    Oh, how I long for the deep sleep dreaming
    The goddess of imaginary light

    Video Games 
  • Stardew Valley: Sebastian yawns and mentions being tired a lot, often staying up late at night and often not getting out of bed until around 11 AM. It's implied that his Blended Family Drama is giving him depression and insomnia.
  • Undertale: Sans constantly sleeping on the job, much to the chagrin of his brother, is initially Played for Laughs and just seems to be an indicator of his lazy personality, until it’s revealed that said laziness stems from the crushing knowledge that anything he could possibly achieve can and most likely will be reset with a single move from a force completely out of his control - Flowey, and later the player, resetting the timeline over and over until they’re satisfied or completely bored.

    Visual Novels 
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!: One of the first things we learn about Sayori is that she is prone to sleeping in and being late to school. This seems at first just to be a side-effect of her flighty nature, but then it's revealed that she's had horrible depression her entire life, and she sleeps a lot because of that.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-7795, a little girl doomed to die and be resurrected every year on her birthday, suffers from chronic depression as a result of the trauma she's suffered - only worsened by her guilt over the collateral damage. After the Foundation's best attempt to save her from further trauma fails, 7795 is left mute, psychologically regressed, and sleeping for upwards of ten hours every day.