Discussions By Condition: Sleep disorders

Another Sleep Problem...unsolved mystery!!

Posted In: Sleep disorders 4 Replies
  • Posted By: jamesisasleep
  • July 15, 2008
  • 05:50 AM

I have had a sleep problem for about seven years now, since i was 16 years old. (I am now 23.) I am relatively healthy, did a half hour run yesterday, will do one again today, would have no problem doing a three mile swim etc. (i'll come back to the point of exercise later.)

I have seen nearly every top sleep specialist in Ireland, and a range of other specialties travelling to all corners and spending thousands, but the problem remains unsolved. I have been diagnosed with mild Narcolepsy, but have barely any of the symptoms normally associated. The drugs provigil, (modafil) have no effect even when overdosed. I don;t think I have narcolepsy, I had the sleep test, and the first time with one doctor, they said i didn't have it, then the second doctor wanted to do it again, and the person doing the test at the time, said sorry no problem again, but when i got to back to the 2nd doctor, he said sorry you have mild narcolepsy. VERY STRANGE...There was a time when a sleep specialist was thinking I had sleep apnea, due to an enlarged tonsil, but as they weren't convinced I had to wait two years before I personally convinced an ENT surgeon to remove the tonsil (had to pretend it was for another reason). To this date it is the only thing that has improved my problem. Worth the fight. I also had a sub-mucous diathermy (removing so some of the lining of the sinus tissue) at the same time as the tonsil, and this could have equally been successful in the improvement.

To describe myself, I have learnt over the years my problem , I fall asleep in stuffy spaces where the air gets to hot, and have a much higher sucepablity than most people. I have never stayed awake during a theatre production, I rarely stay awake in the movie theatre, I go just to see my friends, and i try hard to stay awake every time. No amount of caffeine works, nor provigil to keep me awake.... I have never managed to stay awake in a single college lecture, I went to every one, and fell asleep after about an hour into the lecture. I fall asleep at work..all the time. at least once a day. I can't drive for more than 15 minutes without falling asleep, in the passenger seat...

This is a new job I started, and imbetween jobs I took about 4 months break, (This is when i got my tonsil out as well) anyway, I just went out met friends, did whatever, I had no need to enter the stuffy spaces, and I had no sleep problem, I would go to sleep at 11, and wake up at 8, sometimes i might out to a nightclub...and no problems what so ever... the only exception was the passenger seat in a car...

So what I do know is I do NOT have the typical thing, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, depression, overweight, etc...

What I am currently thinking is this is 100% respiratory problem, side effect. sleep in bad air. Note i sleep perfectly at night.

I have a post nasal drip, and I am constantly swallowing my own flem, an allergy specialist who had a fibre optic camera, was nice enough to show me pictures of inside of my sinus, and said there is still way more tissue than usual, and the aperture of the opening is miniscule to what is normal. like 1/4...however the only recommendation they have is neilmed, which is jala neti, commercialised, basically just salt and warm water circulated through the nasal passage. It works at clearing my nose and does improve me alot, but sometimes towards the middle of the day, I am still falling asleep...

any ideas...

(if you need any extra info please ask)

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4 Replies:

  • do you have dry eyes and a really calm disposition?I too fall asleep really easily. i have to drink coffee all the time. i think i should drink more water but i can't seem to do it.breathing problems like what? low breathing?like really calm? thats the only thing i can think of because thats my problem.
    pjograham 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm also in Ireland, late 50s, having similar this past five years, and perhaps periodically throughout my lifetime. Likewise no firm pattern but obvious situations and places like lectures, theatre, reading etc are more likely to send me to sleep, Provigil or no Provigil. I also have depression but improvement in this with Seroxat seemed only to unmask my over-sleeping problem (needed several alarms to get me up for work in the days before the electrical variety and having a partner, etc), whilst if I am not too sleepy I am also more of a night-person. Nearest I have found - on the internet - is Hypersomnia. Basically a need for lots of sleep, can be recurrent so come and go, and if lots of sleep not taken then I go around like a zombie. Situations requiring concentration are always more difficult and more likely to trigger off dozing. That's my story.
    mystified 1 Replies
    • February 11, 2009
    • 11:12 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Well,The number one cause of snoring of sleep apnea is the physical blocking of air passages so the air will not circulates and triggers snoring to happen. The first factor that causes blockage in the air passages is obesity. Obviously if you are overweight, the formation of fats tends to happen especially throughout the neck and throat which can therefore triggers you to snores habitually. Another factor that causes sleep apnea is smoking and drinking alcohol. The smoke from the cigarette causes air blockage to the airways because of the nicotine content which can trigger a person to snores.The first sleep apnea treatment is the so called oral appliances. This helps in reposition of the lower jaw and the tongue. In addition to that, it can also helps in opening the airways at the back of the throat. An oral appliance is said to be affordable sleep apnea treatment that is available in the market. There are several oral appliances that can also prevent the tongue from falling in the airway and this is therefore known as the Manibular Advancement device or MAD.sleep apnea treatment
    Steve Harper 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • This does sound like a narcolepsi issue more than a hypersomnia. From what I understand Provigil helps for the hypersomnia disorder and not narcolepsy, as they are very different disorders. I have hypersomnia and provigil works wonders for me, it has really changed my life. My question for you is do you actually feel sleepy and then fall asleep? Or do you go from normally awake at a movie theatre, then the next thing you know someone is waking you up? The basic difference as I understand it is hypersomniatic people are always sleepy and are always thinking about and wanting to nap. Narcolepsy is characterized by someone going from fully awake and "normal" directly to a sleep state. Also, naps are refreshing for people with narcolepsy but someone with hypersomnia will still be sleepy after a nap.
    RCWatson 4 Replies
    • September 20, 2009
    • 11:46 PM
    • 0
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