I finally went to my primary care physician about my sleep after my mom found relief with her CPAP machine. All I knew about sleep disorders was what my mom had told me about sleep apnea. I was sleepy and overweight so I asked my Doctor and she sent me for a sleep study.
Ever since high school (I am 26 now), I am always very tired and I find it very easy to fall asleep… too easy and sometimes I fall asleep at school or work or when company is over. I’ve put on a lot of weight over the last 4 years. I don’t have the energy or the time to work out and after failing the dietitians food log because I couldn’t avoid the bad cravings for the extra energy boosts, it all just seemed impossible. Part of the health focus was to give up caffeine and after switching my 12 pack of Diet Pepsi a day to caffeine free, I got even sleepier. It has made falling asleep at night much easier, but now I am going to bed earlier and earlier. I used to fall asleep around midnight and struggle to wake up at 8am, but now without the caffeine I fall asleep between 8pm and 9pm and still struggle to wake up at 8am. Getting to work at 9am is just not ideal for me because then I don’t get home until 5:00 at the earliest. If I allow myself to nap I can sleep 3 hours no problem and I wake up for ½ hour before sleeping for the night. If I try to push through the evening without a nap by doing housework or playing with my dogs, I move very slowly and I tend to get depressed about how little I accomplished. On the weekends or holidays it is very easy for me to sleep 16+ hours straight or via naps that are 3-5 hours long each.My sleeping has always been an issue in my relationships. My boyfriends didn’t like that we couldn’t go out and do as much because I was so sleepy. I ended up dating mostly gamers because it worked out better, while I slept extra they just played video games. But when you are with someone you want to spend time with them so even my gamer relationships felt the strain. My current boyfriend/future husband and I live together and he is amazing. He takes care of our two dogs, he handles things around the house, he makes dinner for us and he is my personal alarm clock because when I use regular alarm clocks I don’t remember myself turning off the alarm (I can hit snooze every 10 minutes for an hour and a half without remembering it). He starts at around 7 and I don’t actually get up until sometime after 8am. It is frustrating for him though because I say I am awake, when I am not or I fall back asleep right away. I feel so weird, I generally do not remember him trying and my brain doesn’t recognize the importance of waking up… He has been unemployed for the past 6 months but he finally got a job offer to start next week. While I am really excited for him to get back to work and super proud that he landed this gig… I am also beyond anxious about how this may affect how I wake up in the morning and how we get housework stuff done.
I basically just considered myself lazy until I got the Sleep Study report, which simply stated, I have excessive daytime sleepiness. Now I am just really confused.
During the study I felt like I got a good night’s rest overnight and I fell asleep during each nap and probably in between those as they had to keep coming in to make sure I wasn’t sleeping. They asked me if I dreamed and I wasn’t sure… I remember thinking about things but I don’t know if they were full blown dreams. The letter with the report said I could set up an appointment with a sleep specialist, which I have scheduled for later this week.
I looked up EDS and found Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy and I am now taking a serious look at my sleep history and how it has affected my life. I don’t want to go to my appointment pre-convinced that I have something, but I want to be ready for the appointment. What would you suggest I have prepared to discuss with this specialist? I am really interested in treatment options, but how do you bring that up? Is it possible that while my MLST reported excessive daytime sleepiness that I may not even have a sleep disorder? From what I have read on this forum, I think your community is very supportive and I would really appreciate your opinions on my situation. Thank you so much!