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Bronny's avatar

Am I narcoleptic?

Asked by Bronny (714points) May 5th, 2010 from iPhone

I am a high energy, get things done kind of girl. But the moment I sit down and stop moving, especially when people are talking and
especially at work, I enter this daze and it is painful to make myself stay awake.
This is the case regardless of
how much sleep I got the night before. It’s very frustrating, especially when I go to
conferences etc…I want so badly to engage my mind in what a speaker is briefing but it feels suddenly more like their
voices and their PowerPoint presentations hypnotize me and lull me to deep REM. If I allow myself to close my eyes, I almost immediately incorporate the sounds I hear into dreams.

Yet at night often times I get a burst if energy and can’t seem to remember how to fall asleep. I’ve tried drinking more coffee, quitting coffee, and adjusting my sleep patterns but no matter how rested I am or how vivacious I feel, the moment my body hits a chair and must stay completely still and quiet, I am struggling to stay awake within 30 mins to an hour. Uncontrollably. Is this normal?

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13 Answers

janbb's avatar

This does sound like narcolepsy or another sleep disorder. A friend of mine has it and falls asleep in cars. Of course, a doctor is the one who must diagnose it for sure.

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Bronny's avatar

I just really started thinking about it today and noticing a trend the past year…I will probably make an appointment with my doctor soon, but always thought narcolepsy was like how they show it in the movies, you know? Extreme case scenerios. I’ve just been embarrassed that I become so tired during meetings etc., I try as hard as I can to cover it up.

Bronny's avatar

If I am even the slightest bit tired, I will fall asleep with monotonous driving at the drop of a hat, even if it’s noon and sunny…I have had to pull over into parking lots and pass out for 30mins to 2 hours…but not so often that I attributed it to more than just being exhausted from work or whatever.

gailcalled's avatar

Often, sleep apnea shares the same symptoms as narcolepsy.


Bronny's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks! But most of my symptoms are day-time related, and my biggest complaint is just sheer exhaustion once I stop moving despite excellent sleep.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@gailcalled Sleep apnea is most often a cause for narcolepsy. The tendency for the airway to collapse during sleep cause the patient to cyclically awake gasping for breath. This undermines the restfulness of sleep and often prevents the restorative REM sleep the body requires, the result is the tendency to fall asleep in situations that are totally beyond the individuals control. It is that to which narcolepsy refers.

@Bronny, your doctor may want to you be thoroughly assessed in a sleep lab. Your health and safety could be at great risk if you suffer from a sleep disorder. Talk to your physician about your symptoms and discuss any medications, drugs and nutritional supplements you use as well as your schedule and sleep habits.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

It’s definitely not normal, and it’s not really an issue you should be relying on Fluther to figure out. I suggest making an appointment with your doctor and partaking in a sleep assessment, which may take several days but it will be to the benefit of your health. You should definitely not continue living like this!

myopicvisionary's avatar

I think you may simply be exhausted. Many of us try to do too much. Perhaps your body is trying to “catch-up” at times when you are not “stimulated”. Do you snore? If so, I’d tell your Doc and perhaps you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Although you may think you’re getting sleep at night, you may not be. A classic sign of sleep apnea is difficultly staying awake during the day.

Bronny's avatar

i don’t snore at all. While I do not have any obvious symptoms of a sleep apnea now, at times when I have been under inordinate amounts of stress, I have snored, jerked awake gasping for breath, and had night terrors where I wake up in a panic attack. That’s only happened 2 or 3 times in my entire life. the exhaustion happens on a daily basis and only when I stop moving. ADHD?

Bronny's avatar

Thank you all for your input, who has time to see the doctor really? But I suppose I will make time. Arg.

myopicvisionary's avatar

Whatever it is, it is causing you concern so go get a professional diagnosis. I functioned just fine prior to joining the military. During basic training I remember being so tired that I could just about fall asleep any time we were not moving. That situation was pure exhaustion. Later in life, I began to notice that every time I’d get home from work, I’d fall asleep on the couch while waiting for dinner. I told my doc about how I was feeling, did a sleep study and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I now use a cpap machine and feel better. We are not designed to go without REM sleep.

Bronny's avatar

@myopicvisionary I am in the military as well, thank you for your input!

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