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#1 redrose_Rocker

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:41 AM

Hello,
I wanted to share what has been going on with me because at this point I am not quite understand what is going on with me. Ever since I was a teen, I started with very sleepy episodes during the day and someones uncontrollably falling asleep at school during class or at home. I just blamed a lot of this on being a teen and tired. I have also always had extremely vivid dreams during the night, and while this doesn't bother every single night it does often and I wake up in the morning very tired.

As I got older I thought maybe I was working too hard, or "having too much fun" (as a lot of us do in our younger years). Now I am in my mid 20's, not a partier or a teen anymore. I still get some symptoms. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, some digestive disorders, and migraines. I work a full time job. I have never fallen asleep at work (fought it very hard a few times though) but have taken my lunch break a few times because I felt like I was going to fall asleep and went home (I used to live about 2 minutes away from work). I have never fallen asleep driving, but I don't drive very often other than to work.

I often have nights full of vivid dreams. I am an extremely heavy sleeper however. I have used my anxiety medicine to help me sleep but it doesn't always work. I don't take any medicine for depression because I found the side effects to be worse. I am constantly tired and have had things such as my iron levels checked. Earlier this year I blamed my excessive sleepiness and sleep attacks on being tired from pain (have had my gall bladder and appendix removed this year).

Here is the most recent example. I was off yesterday, and had my little sister up for a little bit and we were sitting on the couch watching a movie after we ate dinner. I started to feel waves of sleep coming on and my husband ask me if I was OK and I did not have the energy to answer and fell asleep. He said I was asleep for about 15 minutes. When I started to "wake up" I could hear what he was saying to my little sister but could not respond. It didn't bother me, I didn't panic. The words weren't clear to me. When I did wake up I asked how long I was sleeping and he said about 15 minutes.

This doesn't happen every day. I am going to start watching how frequent this is. I never even considered this before but after doing some research I am finding out things that I always thought everyone experienced to be symptoms of narcolepsy and not normal for everyone to experience. For example, when I sleep I usually have vivid dreams up to the second I wake up. I thought everyone was that way but it appears dreams are supposed to be a part of a certain stage of sleep. I also am very tired throughout the day, often think I am getting sick (but never do) and get super dizzy when I fight it. Sometimes I can't, but when I am out in public when I get to my car (for example) or somewhere I can sit down I have a sleep episode for about 15 minutes.

Sorry for the book, but before I brought this to my DR I wanted other's opinions. I don't want to go through all the tests if I am just being crazy and over paranoid.

#2 DeathRabbit

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Hello,
I wanted to share what has been going on with me because at this point I am not quite understand what is going on with me. Ever since I was a teen, I started with very sleepy episodes during the day and someones uncontrollably falling asleep at school during class or at home. I just blamed a lot of this on being a teen and tired. I have also always had extremely vivid dreams during the night, and while this doesn't bother every single night it does often and I wake up in the morning very tired.

As I got older I thought maybe I was working too hard, or "having too much fun" (as a lot of us do in our younger years). Now I am in my mid 20's, not a partier or a teen anymore. I still get some symptoms. I have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, some digestive disorders, and migraines. I work a full time job. I have never fallen asleep at work (fought it very hard a few times though) but have taken my lunch break a few times because I felt like I was going to fall asleep and went home (I used to live about 2 minutes away from work). I have never fallen asleep driving, but I don't drive very often other than to work.

I often have nights full of vivid dreams. I am an extremely heavy sleeper however. I have used my anxiety medicine to help me sleep but it doesn't always work. I don't take any medicine for depression because I found the side effects to be worse. I am constantly tired and have had things such as my iron levels checked. Earlier this year I blamed my excessive sleepiness and sleep attacks on being tired from pain (have had my gall bladder and appendix removed this year).

Here is the most recent example. I was off yesterday, and had my little sister up for a little bit and we were sitting on the couch watching a movie after we ate dinner. I started to feel waves of sleep coming on and my husband ask me if I was OK and I did not have the energy to answer and fell asleep. He said I was asleep for about 15 minutes. When I started to "wake up" I could hear what he was saying to my little sister but could not respond. It didn't bother me, I didn't panic. The words weren't clear to me. When I did wake up I asked how long I was sleeping and he said about 15 minutes.

This doesn't happen every day. I am going to start watching how frequent this is. I never even considered this before but after doing some research I am finding out things that I always thought everyone experienced to be symptoms of narcolepsy and not normal for everyone to experience. For example, when I sleep I usually have vivid dreams up to the second I wake up. I thought everyone was that way but it appears dreams are supposed to be a part of a certain stage of sleep. I also am very tired throughout the day, often think I am getting sick (but never do) and get super dizzy when I fight it. Sometimes I can't, but when I am out in public when I get to my car (for example) or somewhere I can sit down I have a sleep episode for about 15 minutes.

Sorry for the book, but before I brought this to my DR I wanted other's opinions. I don't want to go through all the tests if I am just being crazy and over paranoid.

It seems like a possibility. Make sure to eliminate the more common and easier to diagnose possibilities first by getting a full blood work up done. But yea, with the vivid dreaming, I would bet you have N. What meds are you on currently? What meds have you been on in the past? Some can promote REM sleep (when dreams happen) whilst taking them or after discontinuing them. For instance, medicines like Remeron can cause lots of REM sleep, and the abrupt cessation of an SSRI can actually cause temporary narcolepsy, due to REM resurgence. Once, you've determined nothing is wrong with all your various vitamin and hormone levels and you've ruled out medication, then I'd say you need to talk with your doctor about getting a referral to a sleep medicine specialist. Try for a specialist with a background in psych or or neuro if you can.

#3 redrose_Rocker

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

The only medicines I am on is medicine for acid reflux and occasional Xanax for anxiety attacks. I don't like the medicine that I have tried for depression (celexa) and had such a bad reaction (horrible panic attack and nausea to the point of throwing up) that I am afraid to try anything else. The Xanax sometimes helps, if I can't sleep it will calm me and help me sleep without dreams, even if for only part of the night.

As I think back I can remember lots of sleep episodes that I laughed off as other things.. On our honey moon we went out for lunch (we were at the beach and it was summer) and I had a large daiquiri. I drank not even half and had a sleep attack and fell asleep in public (at the table) for about 10 minutes. Woke up and felt fine. We laughed about it at the time and blamed it on the alcohaul (even though I didn't have very much and it was the middle of the afternoon). And other instances such as after dinner with my parents I would fall asleep for a very short time on the couch, or in the car I would fall asleep uncontrollably. I do this alot when sitting down or after eating. Like I said, this doesn't happen all the time or anything, that's why I am wondering if this is something to consider or if I am just overreacting and very tired.

#4 DeathRabbit

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:46 PM

The only medicines I am on is medicine for acid reflux and occasional Xanax for anxiety attacks. I don't like the medicine that I have tried for depression (celexa) and had such a bad reaction (horrible panic attack and nausea to the point of throwing up) that I am afraid to try anything else. The Xanax sometimes helps, if I can't sleep it will calm me and help me sleep without dreams, even if for only part of the night.

As I think back I can remember lots of sleep episodes that I laughed off as other things.. On our honey moon we went out for lunch (we were at the beach and it was summer) and I had a large daiquiri. I drank not even half and had a sleep attack and fell asleep in public (at the table) for about 10 minutes. Woke up and felt fine. We laughed about it at the time and blamed it on the alcohaul (even though I didn't have very much and it was the middle of the afternoon). And other instances such as after dinner with my parents I would fall asleep for a very short time on the couch, or in the car I would fall asleep uncontrollably. I do this alot when sitting down or after eating. Like I said, this doesn't happen all the time or anything, that's why I am wondering if this is something to consider or if I am just overreacting and very tired.


Oh yeah, you definitely have a problem for sure! That level of EDS is not normal. Don't dismiss it as an overreaction. I ignored my symptoms for way too long. And I can tell you, it did not ever get better on its own! Be sure to fight for a treatment. In the medical industry these days, most doctors just view their career as 9 to 5, so you may have to light a fire under their ass, but be sure to be your own advocate. If you are too timid for that (as I was) grab someone who can help you and take them to your doctor visits. My first sleep doc was useless until I brought my Dad along.

#5 Megssosleepy

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

You sound a lot like myself... although I fight off my sleep attacks... its rare for me to actually fall asleep unwillingly! I always thought everyone just fought sleep better then me, or I wasn't eating well or my iron was low again. I used to stay up all night partying and sleeping most of the day (worked nights) Hell I even had my Gall Bladder removed! I finally sought help when I was waking 10+ times a night (that I could remember) I wanted sleeping pills... but the doc said I needed to see a sleep specialist... his first comment after asking me all the normal questions was "I am pretty sure you have Narcolepsy" for me I had no clue what N was beside what I saw in a movie. I was shocked... then I started reading about it... it was me to the T.

I think you should definitely seek a good sleep doc. You should know Xanax is one of those meds that's a NO No for PWN, it can cause REM-rebound. If you only take it every now and then I am sure that's fine... just be careful. I would read up on all the symptoms of N and make sure you are very clear about everything when you see your Doc, For some reasons doctors can be intimidated with the N Dx, sometimes you have to fight for it!

Good luck and welcome to the NN!

#6 redrose_Rocker

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:23 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies and support. I just was never sure because some nights I can sleep the whole night through and nothing wakes me, other times I wake up constantly (and assumed it was anxiety that's why I would use the xanax to help me sleep), but mostly it's the vivid dreams that leave me exhausted the day after. I never knew what N was before like others have said, just comical things in movies where someone is walking and just falls down asleep... I really thought everyone was this way but the more I read I can see I was wrong! I've had my gallbladder removed as well, and have thought before it was my iron as i follow a (mostly) vegetarian diet... but I only started that in the past year and this has been going on since I was a teen and according to blood tests my iron is fine. My dr's seem to like to throw medicines at me for a quick fix so I guess I better gear up to see whats going on. Again, thank you.

#7 dormir

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

Vivid dreaming. The main thing that makes me exhausted during the day, I think. It's terrible. I'm exhausted, I want to sleep, but I know when I sleep, I'm going to wake up multiple times and be just as exhausted when I finally wake up for the day. I hope you get the treatment you need.