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Avatar universal

Almost constant tiredness affecting day to day life. What's going on?

So I'm 21, unfortunately unable to be employed for both mental and physical health reasons, so I'm still under my parents' roof. That will be useful later.
A bit of history before I get to my question. Ever since elementary school, I've had sleep problems. Either having a hard time falling asleep, or staying asleep, or both. All the way up until high school. But I could and still can get a decent amount of sleep throughout the night. About 6.5 to maybe 7 or 8 hours. But I was ALWAYS still tired during school hours. Usually around the afternoon peak hours, just before lunch. Even to the point I was sleeping in class a couple times a week. (Only 1 class, and I did my best not to let it stop me from doing classwork.) Fast forward to the middle of my junior year, I had to switch to online school because of severe mental health struggles, which got worse until I had to quit that too. Eventually, I was out on medically needy insurance, which unfortunately made it to where I couldn't afford my meds AND my appointments, so I couldn't go. My mental health plummeted until I quite literally slept on and off for 24 hours every single day for about 2 years. It was rare for me to be awake for more than maybe 2 consecutive hours. Anyway, recently, all of that changed. Got on sliding scale, was seeing a new psych Dr and was back on my meds. I was getting better. Still had trouble sleeping though. I wasn't sleeping ALL day, but I was taking 4 hour naps everyday just before dinner. Then a bit before the quarantine and lockdowns, I started taking 3 or 4 hour naps either just after dinner, or around 8 or 9 pm. I've been trying everything I can to keep myself awake. Playing games, watching TV, hanging out with family, reading, drawing, coloring, DIY projects. But as soon as I'm done, or have been doing it for a bit, I'm dozing off. I try to fight off sleep as hard as I can, because I know I shouldn't be sleeping, and I'm getting increasingly fed up with all of the sleeping and being called lazy by my dad all the time. Even before the virus, I could go out all day, be completely engaged and having fun, but the second I got in the car, I was asleep against the window, or falling asleep as soon as I got home. If something is engaging me 100% mentally AND physically, I can stay awake, but it seems like the minute it's over, I'm fighting sleep. It's even gotten to where my parents aren't involving me in anything anymore. They expect me to be asleep on the rare occasions I'm able to fight it off until later, and don't ask if I want to join, so I miss out. Sometimes I can fight off sleep and actually go and join them in whatever they're doing, but again, sometime after dinner, or late at night like 8, 9, or even 10pm, I lose the battle and sleep for 3 or 4, maybe even 5 hours. Sometimes it affects my sleeping at night, like the times I fall asleep late. I'll wake up around maybe 10 if I fell asleep after dinner at 5 or 6, and be up well into the early morning hours. Sometimes I sleep fine through the night with the exception of waking up for a minute a few times. Other times I'll be up until 3 or 4, and finally get to sleep a bit later, but have to be up and awake by 8 or 9am.
I'm starting to fear it's going to start affecting my other relationships like it has my familial relationships. Can anyone help???
Thanks is advance!
2 Responses
Avatar universal
It's likely your inconsistent sleep schedule is at least partially causing this.  Usually the key to better sleep and optimal daytime energy is to keep a very consistent wake time and bed time.  In your situation with medical and psychiatric issues, you should probably seek the advice of a doctor, possibly one who specializes in sleep medicine.
1 Comments
On the good days where I'm able to stay awake for most or even all day, I do my best to be settled in and ready for bed by no later than 11pm, and have my alarm set for 8:30am, no matter what. But the problem is whether I've slept the day before or not, I still have trouble getting and/or staying asleep, no matter how exhausted and tired I am. I do think that's part of the reason I get so tired during the day, but I can have a super rare night where I sleep undisturbed for the entire night, and I still get too tired to keep myself awake. I've been wanting to see a doctor about it for years, but it's just never been an option
973741 tn?1342342773
I think sleep issues are so hard to deal with.  I feel for you.  How's the treatment for your mental health issues going?  Often when that is treated, sleep resolves somewhat if not entirely.  Adding good sleep hygiene to that treatment makes that even more likely.  I strongly encourage you to keep working on fully treating any mental health issues you have.  Eating properly and getting good nutrition helps.  When I give up caffeine, although I feel horrible for about 2 to 3 weeks right when I give it up, after that, I do not have many highs and lows.  A good multi vitamin helps.  An uncluttered sleep area, going to bed at a regular time and avoiding naps past 20 minutes long are helpful.  Regular exercise also.  Have you tried melatonin?  It's a natural substance and not addictive.  But helps some people get a good nights rest.  

Your issues with insurance are tricky, I understand.  I think that it may come to a point in which you will have to be on medical aid as you likely qualify if you have no income.  Have you considered applying for that while you sort out these issues?  If you do that, then you can perhaps visit a sleep clinic.  There is also atypical and typical narcolepsy that they determine if this is involved.  
1 Comments
My mental health treatment is doing much better, I started to sleep a bit better when I got back on medication, but after about a month or so, I started having trouble again. Just before the beginning of the year, I was on a calorie restricted diet and doing more exercise during the day, but then with all the panic with the virus, we kind of had to just eat what we could find, so my diet went out the window, and then the exercise just followed suit. I did notice though that with the exercise, it seemed to make me even more tired than before, so I was fighting sleep a lot more often.
I took melatonin as a kid, probably up until I was a teen. My body got too used to it, and it stopped helping.
I tried to apply for disability about a year, maybe two years ago, but of course, with my luck, something went wrong, and we just haven't had the chance to try again.
I've been searching for types of sleep disorders for a while now, and of course with narcolepsy being the most well known, that's pretty much the only one I can ever find. I don't have the muscle weakness or paralysis, or the hallucinations associated with it, though.
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