Would anyone please be kind enough to describe how they are affected by their Excessive daytime sleepiness?
I am not diagnosed with any sleep disorders but am having significant problems with my sleep and what feels like excessive daytime sleepiness. I have been to my drs about the problem (in fact I have been reporting it for 7 plus years now) but because I have had episodes of depression in the past they won't send me for a sleep study and insist on just giving me antidepressants which I will no longer take (they often cause drowsiness in and of themselves (among other nasty side effects) and my daytime sleepiness is already problematic enough as it is. So I am getting no where.
I suspect a possible sleep disoder but am having trouble figuring out which one is most likely, if any is present at all.
To give a brief outline:
My sleep problems began in my early teens and have always been slightly complicated.
Firstly my circadian rhythm has never been good at functioning at the usual time of day and night that society says it is supposed to, so when I say daytime...I mean daytime as it is relative to me (I usually sleep best from 4 am to 12 noon). At first that was my main problem...I had trouble with mornings obviously and struggled to hold down jobs because of it.
However, from the age of 14 I often complained about broken sleep...ie my bladder would wake me or I would wake out of a very vivid dream or for no reason at all but then go back to sleep again. My drs blamed anxiety for both the broken sleep and the wonky sleep schedule (inability to sleep at a normal time).
PN I don't get broken sleep every night...just some. If I sleep at my preferred time of 4 am to 12 I also have little trouble getting to sleep. It is only if I try to sleep earlier.
In my early twenties I had a drinking issue (only briefly) as I am a bit on the shy side and the drink did help me to socialise sometimes. I quit many years ago now but at some point during that time I developed a tendency for sleep paralysis. It stayed with me even after I stopped drinking although it is very infrequent.
Some time after this my daytime drowsiness started to worsen and has been getting gradually worse ever since.
I am now 37....my circadian rhythm still appears to be wonky (sleeping pills really don't work for long so I no longer take them), the daytime drowsiness is at its worst, I only very occasionally get sleep paralysis but can be prone to dreaming immediately after falling asleep a lot (but not all) of the time. I am also having trouble staying awake over the drowsiness during the day (or when I am trying to stay awake). I rarely feel alert anymore and seem to be incapable of waking my brain up (except for brief periods during the night time as that is, and always has been, my peak energy zone) even with stimulants like caffeine (so again I don't bother using it).
My level of drowsiness fluctuates during the day...
Basically I can sleep for 8 hours a night with either no or one or two awakenings for various reasons. Still be drowsy on waking but am able to stay awake for a while. However, I can't seem to stay awake for long...not without great difficulty anyway. Every so often my level of drowsiness worsens as though I have just been hit with a sudden dose of a strong sedative. Now I can sometimes stay awake over this but am pretty useless as my memory is like swiss cheese and I end up feeling like someone who is senile during these times. The easiest thing to do is to let myself sleep it off, so I nap. My naps can last from a few minutes (with or without a dream) up to an hour or so long (depending on length and quality of night time sleep...maybe 2 hour long naps if i was short on sleep the night before).
For a while I will wake up a little (but not be fully alert) after each nap but the drowsy feeling will only worsen again later on.
I really do not think my sleep issues are being caused by depression as I presently do not have all the symptoms of clinical depression. Ie I am upset that my hobby time is being disrupted by my need to keep napping for example but have not lost interest in them. I am motivated but too sleepy (not fatigued) to do things most of the time and so on. I am however feeling irked that my ability to function is being destroyed by this, especially as I also have a problem with migraine headaches which also mess things up for me...including my sleep sometimes.
I did suspect apnea for a while (I am over weight but am female) but I don't snore and when I tried to tape my breathing I could not hear any breaks in it (just a bit of wheezing now and then as I still smoke but am trying to quit...I do use the nicotine to help with the EDS a bit).
I have recently made some lifestyle changes (ie I removed the sedative based medication and am presently medication free, I am trying to lose weight and have also gone gluten free as I was previously getting stomach upsets and as I have a brother with celiac disease I thought it would be worth a try...it has settled my gut problems but has not stopped the migraines or the problems with my sleep and so on) and I am hoping that, in time, these will have a beneficial effect.
Anyway, I would like to hear about others experiences with EDS
Thank you in advance for any feedback.