Movies and Dozing

Last updated: September 2023

A common thought people have when a date or family member falls asleep during a movie is, "Wow, guess they weren’t that interested in the movie."

Besides some people being plain tired sometimes and falling asleep accidentally, falling asleep during a movie (or TV show) is something that I feel those with narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) end up dealing with a lot.

Receiving mixed reactions for falling asleep

I have fallen asleep during movies that I wanted to go see, during a Netflix and ChillTM session with a new boo, knocking out while watching a series with my mom, etc. If it involves sitting down for a set amount of hours to watch something, more than likely at some point I have passed out when I was actually trying to watch.

It really sucks because on the chance I do wake up, people have to either explain what I missed or rewind the show. For some it's OK and they don’t mind giving me a synopsis, while for others this gets annoying and people get mad about being asked what happened while I was asleep. I feel it falls a bit into "you should have been paying attention" ideals of society, where if you miss ANYTHING it's your fault and should not be rectified. Which sucks! IH makes me fall asleep uncontrollably, and it's not my fault that I dozed off. And hey, maybe people have other reasons for missing a part of a show.

I only have so many hours in a day before being tired

Personally, I've had to rewatch a few movies more than once because of accidental dozing. Sometimes it gets on people's nerves that I knock out at a good part of the show or doze off before it even starts. As much as it sucks for whoever I’m watching with to deal with me being dead during a show, it also sucks for me as well! I actually don’t like rewatching anything I have already seen unless it was an absolutely mind-blowing movie.

I say this not because it won't bring me any joy to rewatch, it's just I only have so many hours a day to do things before being tired, so it feels wasteful to use my time on things I have already done. So it's an inconvenience to myself as well to fall asleep during a movie, since I'll have to figure out what parts I've already seen and what I haven’t.

The impact on my dating life

Knocking out during a show also comes with the problem of who I’m falling asleep on. Is it someone I haven’t explained my condition to yet? Or a family member who kind of understands how I work?

I've had a date get mad that I fell asleep during the show we were watching. Then I had to open up and give the "hey, actually... I have a rare disease" spiel. Which leads to them getting embarrassed for being mad at me and a whole lot of awkwardness. Sometimes it works out and we move on, sometimes it leads to me being ghosted. It's pretty shocking how many people can't deal with someone who sleeps a lot.

Does anyone else struggle with falling asleep during movies or shows?

Overall, I still try to go out and see new movies when I can, even if there’s a chance I might not make it through the whole thing.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve experienced something similar! It's nice to relate to those who have gone through similar experiences.

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