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is this sleepiness normal?
12 Replies
iliveinpain - December 8

I mean, EXTREME sleepiness. I can't even watch tv without falling asleep. I'm at my desk at work and my eyes are closing. Sometimes I feel like I'm sleeping with my eyes open. I'll type something and I'll be like, WHAT DID I JUST DO? I totally ZONE OUT! I have to get up and walk around just to keep from falling asleep. I'm scared sometimes I'll fall asleep behind the wheel. I know fatigue is part of fibro, but do you all experience fatigue to this degree??


Canada17 - December 8

This sounds more like exhaustion than just fatigue. Both are common with FM as we don't get proper sleep, even when we are asleep. You might consider talking to your doctor about being sent for a sleep study to find out what is going on at night that is keeping you from getting a good night's sleep. This will also help your doctor(s) better determine what kind of protocol you should be on to help with your sleep.

I find I get so tired sometimes at my desk. I literally nod off. I too get up and walk around get my body moving. Make sure you are not too warm at your work station.

I also read somewhere that an apple can give you the same boost as a cup of coffee, so if you don't want to rely on coffee...maybe that will help you.

BTW - I drink one cup of coffee a day. This is because I am very tired in the morning and had trouble waking up before noon without it. I don't tolerate medications well and while coffee isn't always kind to my stomach, as long as I've had something to eat first, I am usually fine (except for at that time of the month, but just about everything gets me then) I would not recommend drinking more than that, nor would I recommend drinking any caffeine after 4pm (bedtime 10pm), this includes pop and teas that aren't caffeine free, as it will most likely affect your sleep.

Please also note, I am not recommending that you use caffeine as medication for your sleepiness. I don't suffer from it to the degree that you have explained and definitely not on a daily basis. I have had allergic reactions to all the medications I have tried so far to either provide good, consistent pain relief, or to help me sleep. At this point, one cup of coffee a day is better than any prescription the doctor is going to give me. But I still monitor and limit my intake.


Fantod - December 9

I agree with Canada17 that the type of fatgue you describe is not usual for FMS. I think that you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss this issue. Some underlying problem is making you more tired than you should be under the circumstances. Between now and your appointment, you might want to keep a journal noting the times of day and severity of the problem to assist the doctor. Take care and let us know the outcome.


tnichel - December 9

Not saying you have it but this sounds like how I feel when I'm going into a lupus flare or if my iron is too low. It definitely sounds like you have something more going on and I agree with the other posters, you need to get it checked out. Definitely keep a sleep journal until you go back to the doc.

Now me, I'm dang near a narcoleptic...especially in the winter. lol. I can go to sleep anywhere, anytime. Really, I take 5 minute cat naps at work, at home, in the car, on a bench, at the doctor's office...shall I continue? Especially when I'm having that type of exhaustion. lol. Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself and roll with it.


tnichel - December 9

Oh, and I forgot to mention...this typically means wanting to zonk out anytime anywhere until you get in the bed at night. Then you're as alert as an owl w/o your meds. Are you having this problem at night? It could exacerbate the problem too.


Canada17 - December 10

My coworker today was talking about her thyroid meds. She said that when she doesn't take them, because her levels are too low, she falls asleep all the time.

Just something to consider.


iliveinpain - December 10

Thanks for all of your comments. I have had a recent blood work up and I was very deficient in Vitamin D, and I'm on a prescription for that. Everything else seemed to check out ok, thyroid levels, iron, etc. Actually what tnichel posted is me 100%. Feel dang near narcoleptic all day long and then can't sleep at night. I'm sure that's not helping things. I think I have noticed it more now that winter is here. The cold and snow are always depressing to me.


jahennick - January 12

I absolutely agree!


dkarssen79 - January 12

This happens to me as well. I will be sitting at my desk at work and will have a very hard time staying awake. I will get up and walk around, sometimes it helps sometimes it doesnt. Even if it is cold at my desk, sometimes that seems like it makes it worse. I've also noticed that it doesn't matter what meds I'm on I still have this problem. I suggested a sleep study to my dr and he didn't seem to think i needed that. I do have a hard time sleeping at night but other times I feel like I slept all night and wake up exhausted. If you find anything that helps please let me know!!


Canada17 - January 12

iliveinpain, the winter is hard on us because we get less vitamin D. Being that you already have a deficiency only compounds the winter's effect on us. So it only makes sense that we feel worse once the snow starts flying.

I hope your vitamin D prescription will help you out! : )


axxie - January 12

iliveinpain, yes, to some degree, talk to your doctor to see if you can get B-12 injection, they help me alot. I am the same, I can be at the red light and I could just fall asleep.

Brain fog: Brain Fog

trouble concentrating - can't recall words (anomia) / names - using wrong word - memory lapses - lose track of present location - overwhelmed performing multiple tasks - low mental acuity - varies from day to day

* Fatigue

chronic - moderate / severe / extreme exhaustion - disabling - muscle twitching - muscle weakness - shakiness - long periods of sleeping - strong need to fall asleep / a quick nap often refreshes, but unrelenting fatigue returns

See if your doctor will give you B-12 to help you out, I get it every few weeks, it helps. Or you can get a multivitamin and iron to help you out.


belle1329 - January 14

Sleep studies are tests that watch what happens to your body during sleep. The studies are done to find out what is causing your sleep problems. Sleep problems include:

Sleep apnea, when an adult regularly stops breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer. This may be caused by blocked airflow during sleep, such as from narrowed airways. Or it may be caused by a problem with how the brain signals the breathing muscles to work.
Problems staying awake, such as narcolepsy.
Problems with nighttime behaviors, such as sleepwalking, night terrors, or bed-wetting.
Problems sleeping at night (insomnia). This may be caused by stress, depression, hunger, physical discomfort, or other problem.
Problems sleeping during the day because you work at night or do rotating shift work. This sleep problem is called shift work sleep disorder.
Conditions such as periodic limb movement disorder, which is repeated muscle twitching of the feet, arms, or legs during sleep.
Sleep studies can also determine whether you have a problem with your stages of sleep. The two stages of sleep are non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). Normally, NREM and REM alternate 4 to 5 times during a night's sleep. A change in this cycle may make it hard for you to sleep soundly
most common sleep studies are:

Polysomnogram. This test records several body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movement.
Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). This test measures how long it takes you to fall asleep. It also determines whether you enter REM sleep.
Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT). This test measures whether you can stay awake during a time when you are normally awake.
If your doctor thinks that you may have shift work sleep disorder or another problem with your body's internal clock (circadian rhythm), you may have a test called actigraphy. For this test, you wear a device on your wrist that looks like a watch. The device measures your movement during sleep and when you are awake. It helps your doctor learn what times during the day you are active and what times you are sleeping.

Sleep studies usually are done in a sleep lab. Sleep labs are often located in hospitals. But sleep studies also can be done with portable equipment you use at home.


belle1329 - January 14

Hi Iliveinpain, I just had a sleep study, Ill let you know how I made out in a few weeks, but mine is because I have trouble staying asleep..
Just figured Id give you the info on it :)



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