I'm new here, not sure if this post belongs here.. I have read over a few other threads on this forum and can really relate to a fair bit of it...which is both a bit comforting and nerve racking at the same time
Ive been to a number of GP's at least 7 times over the past 3 years regarding why im tired all the time, had thyroid, iron, vitiman D, B12, liver and kidney tests and ECG's (heart test?) all have come back fine. I have made an appointment for this Monday with a nice GP i have seen only a few times now but never asked about my sleep. I am desperate for a sleep test, to at least rule out a problem? or hopefully give me n answer. Most GP's have been reluctant to write a referral.
Im hoping the people here at this forum could tell me what the important symptoms I have are and what I need to tell the GP.
I've had issues with sleep since I was a child. The problems have tended to change, come and go, etc. but the underlying problem is always being extremely tired! I'll write a bit about my past sleep and my problem now, This is probably going to be a long post but im hoping someone will be brave enough to read it through and give me some advice
from the time I was really young (4 or 5 up until the age of 10 to12) id have nightmares and bad night terrors, and only fall asleep after hours of lying there awake. Before falling asleep, waking up (or sometimes at 2 or 3 am) quite often I used to swear I could hear someone say my name, or my mum telling me to get up and get ready for school (even though she was fast asleep). A few times I actually got up and dressed and started making breakfast and getting ready at (2am in the morning my mum told me). I don't think I was asleep, but I wasn't really awake either and didnt realise exactly what I was doing or the fact it was pitch black outside, was sort of on auto pilot.
At 13 or 14 I had really bad trouble with insomnia, getting roughly 2 - 3 hours sleep on a good night and often going up to a day or two without sleep at worst - though generally managing 2 hours a night.
Also at the same time form age 12- 20 I had varying levels of severity of anorexia and bulimia, but needless to say it made me even more exhausted with no 'fuel to run on'.
I would fall asleep two to three times a day (accidentally) during classes at school , and in (final year) would have trouble keeping my eyes open - 75 minutes later wake up without realising I had fallen asleep for the whole class! (teachers knew I had trouble sleeping, and talked to me on numerous occasions about the importance of not sleeping through their class, but seemed to let me do it - maybe they felt sorry for me? lol) its a wonder I passed at all!
I was prescribed 100mg of Largactil (an anti-anxiety/sedative) after numerous sleeping tablets hadn't managed to help me with a 'restful nights sleep'. While Largactil mostly helped my insomnia my current problem started and has been a problem for at least 6 years or more.
Okay so, here goes;
I am unemployed at the moment, so spend most of my time at home looking for work...I am tired all day, every day. being *completely* fatigued and fighting sleep that seems to come in waves throughout the day. I am now able (a quater to half of the time) on a good day to stay awake without falling asleep that i'm aware of, the rest of the days I will need at least one to two naps. I wake up groggy and exhausted, no matter how many naps. my energy then is a bit better for a few hours before needing to nap again. I sleep an average of 9 to 10 hours a night with the occasional night maybe 4 times in 6 months where I have been awake the entire night - but what I think what really exhausts me, is it feels, as soon as I fall asleep that I'm dreaming, very detailed dreams that require me to think yet I cant control what happens in these dreams, or wake myself up, I wake up usually mid dream(?) or after the dream ends, then fall asleep after a minute or two and have another dream. I average 4 to 5 dreams a night, or at least 3 very very long dreams. when my alarm goes off in the morning is when the dreaming stops for a moment, I wake up, press snooze and usually fall back into dreaming. repeat this usually two more times. I'm so exhausted because I feel like I live a whole nother life at night.
There are some other things I thought I should mention to GP:
I think I might have experienced sleep paralysis, will be fully consious but can only half open my eyes, cant move, have a pressing/heavy feeling on my chest and feel fearful/panicky I feel like im being watched or theres someone there sometimes, even though theres not, it probably only last a few minutes but it feels like forever.
And also - a little bit, (used to be more) but similar to parlaysis before going to sleep, mainly after I wake up, I cant open my eyes or move, I used to feel panicky (just because I didnt know what was going on!) I put huge amounts of effort into trying to open my eyes and move my limbs, Im awake but my body wont respond, the best I can manage is maybe seeing a glimpse of light of some sort (I think im barely opening eyes/lids flickering) just before Im able to finally move. It hasnt happend this year thankfully!
I have always daydreamed a lot, even as a kid, my imagination gets carried away, especially when im tired, but then again everyone day dreams, what im not sure, is if its normal to be so tired/immersed in a daydream that you dont blink, dont register whats going on around you at all, and dont really hear? or notice sounds, and body is completely relaxed - or even unaware of body all of a sudden I seem to 'wake up,'
There are a few things I read here (and elsewhere) that I seem to have in common with narcoleptic's? (not at all saying I have it) but maybe should mention to a doc?
I am very very clumsy, especially when tired! I will trip up, down stairs, and fall over my own feet (especially when my legs feel heavy) and no matter how hard I try to think "i will not drop such and such" things seem to slip out of my hands, (the worst being - I was exhausted when I worked and dropped a digital slr camera which smashed, at my job, plus another customers camera). When I laugh (very hard) my muscles feel tingly and all relax suddenly, sometimes loose control of my bladder a bit (embarrassing!).
I've noticed, during some therapy sessions when I am extremely scared or stressed I get blurred vision, feel like i am far away, I get a ringing in my ears, light headed and tingling in my limbs, feel like I cant move, I think and talk slowly. I do have a dissociative diagnosis, but I am wondering if a lot of the things I experience could be extreme lack of sleep?
finally quite often i think Im doing automatic actions? such as turning of lights, moving items, cleaning something and have no memory, I'll just be doing one thing, walk into another room come back and e.g the lamp is off, or the clothes are all folded. I always thought this might be related to dissociation but my Psych said probably not a large enough time gap (and haven't had problems with losing time for a very long time now) suggested it could be automatic actions...
wow.......sorry this is such a long post! its taken me since 9.45pm to almost 11:3pm0 to write this beause my brain checked out a long time ago!lol... usually being in bed by no later than 9.30-10.00
absolutely exhausted now, but just had to write all this down and eager to hear if anyone has similar experiences or can relate at all or any advice?