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Old 09-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

Here's my basic issue: I can't wake up early (and by early I mean before 11AM) and I'm constantly fatigued and weak.

I'll start with my vitals/medical history. I'm 23, almost 24, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn's, PSC (liver disease) and Hyperkyphosis all around 2006/2007. The Colitis has been inactive since 2008, and my PSC is controlled by medication. Now, all three of these conditions cause some amount of fatigue, however I've never had issues with this much fatigue until now.

Over the summer, I spent 8-weeks in California for an intensive language program. Breakfast at 7, classes started at 8, so I had to wake up by 6:30. The first couple of weeks were rough, but I finally got used to it and I was able to wake up early without much difficulty, and I had no fatigue during the day.

Now that I'm back home in Tennessee, I'm having the hardest time waking up before 10 or 11, and I'm fatigued during the entire day. I figured exercise would help me rest and wake up earlier, but I can't exercised because I'm so tired--I'm stuck in an endless loop. It feels as if my body only needs 7 hours of sleep, but my brain needs 10 hours of sleep--at 7 hours my body is refreshed but my brain is groggy--at 10 hours my brain is refreshed but my body is dead. Here's an example (which actually happened today):

My alarm goes off (on the other side of the room) at 7:30, and my brain is so tired and foggy that I get up, walk to the alarm clock, hit the snooze button, walk back to the bed, and go back to sleep without thinking. I then sleep through the subsequent alarm rings, and my brain wakes itself up at 10:30, and I miss my 10:20 class. My body has overslept thanks to my brain, and it feels absolutely dead, and I struggle to move, and by the time I get showered, dressed and ready, it's 11:40 and I miss my 11:30 class. I go to school, and my body is so fatigued that my arms feel like they are going to fall off, my legs feel like they are going to collapse, and I can't concentrate at all because of the physical fatigue.

And this isn't a rare occasion. It is interfering with my life, and the doctors can't find anything wrong with me. The only thing I've noticed that the doctors haven't is that I have low blood pressure, that drops extremely low in the mornings.

But the low blood pressure didn't bother me too much in California, so could it be the food I'm eating? Out in Cali there was all this "gluten free" stuff (I don't even know what gluten is), but here 90% of the food is fried and pumped full of chemicals, synthetic flavors, hormones and steroids, and the 5% of "healthy" food is still largely made up of chemicals and/or I just can't eat it.

Last edited by Neal88; 09-28-2011 at 12:51 PM.

 
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

I think the food issue is well worth looking at. Eating more natural products and mood energy boosting ones should make a big difference, you need to avoid convenience and fried foods at all costs. Also a lot of people who ommit wheat/gluten from their diets swear by increased energy levels so that is worth looking at to. I am currently looking into all this myself as like you find difficulty getting up in the am sometimes. Also have you had your thyroid checked? Hypothyrodism can cause extreme tiredness and lethargy.
Hope this helps, let me know how you get on if you can.
Take care x

 
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

Well, I can't find any gluten-free/natural foods at my local grocery store (Kroger has a monopoly). We have one health food store that I haven't been to yet, but last time I was there it was all vegan and ludicrously expensive. As a college student I can't really afford that.

What about other environmental issues? Lately my wife has been having problems (not as bad as mine) getting up, and I know that a few months ago we fixed a leak in our bathroom that was leaking up underneath the carpet in the master bedroom. Could mold cause these symptoms?

 
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
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Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

You sound like me over 30 years ago - before anyone knew about CFS. I had a doctor that gave me stimulants (which you cannot get in the USA anymore). I have the same problem between
AM and PM But of course,. I don't need to worry about what time it is . with the development of osteoporosis (diagnosed 25 years ago and the medicine didn't stop the progression) and now scoliosis with a 65 degree tilt. Maybe the environment between the 2 places could be a cause or , I really don't have any suggestions, just wish you find help.

 
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

It's just been getting worse. Sleeping 10-11 hours a day, dead tired and lethargic all day, arms ache and feel heavy, but now I'm getting more and more sleepy during the day as well. Coffee doesn't do anything for me. I've almost fallen asleep in the shower, almost fell asleep in the chair at the barber's, and my focus and situational awareness is completely shot when I drive--I probably shouldn't even be driving any more.

I managed to get a sleep study scheduled in two weeks--apparently doctors don't understand that I really need it now because it's screwing up my life. I've already had to drop one of my morning classes because I just couldn't make it, and now I'm starting to miss my other morning class. My brain is so scattered and shot I can barely pay attention in my afternoon classes and when I come home all I want to do is sleep, much less do homework.

UPDATE: last night I woke up from my sleep, and was paralyzed for maybe 3-5 seconds. My brain was awake, and felt slightly scared, but I couldn't open my eyes, couldn't talk or even make noise, and couldn't move. Once I snapped out of it I just rolled onto my side and went back to sleep.

Last edited by Neal88; 10-20-2011 at 09:21 AM.

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
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My last nerve HB User
Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

Neal88, I'm in the same situation. I went from energy drinks to medications that have 'upper' side effects just trying to stay awake. Body pain, fatigue just to eat.

I can't get my child to school on time. Everyone makes it seem so simple but seriously, I don't remember the alarm even going off. I'm sleeping about 12-15 hours a day in segments.

Now, I've never been a morning person and actually function better at night. It's the only time I feel awake and I'm more productive as well. The problem with chronic fatigue and drowsiness is that after spending days practically in bed, I want to do cartwheels when I do have energy just to know that I'm still alive. Unfortunately, this just makes it worse and you fall into another episode of sleeping till whenever you can function again.

I must note that I do have year-round allergies but I don't know what I'm reacting to. This can make me drowsy in addition to chronic fatigue. I can no longer attend school in-person, only doing correspondence and even now, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to focus much less hold up a book to study. You know how some allergy medications can make a person drowsy? Well I get the same reaction whether I take the medication or not.

I looked up SAD even though I don't feel depressed. I do know that come fall, as much as I prefer it, I have a much harder time getting up in the morning and staying awake during the day. I'm sick of trying pills for their side effects in the hopes I can function. I'm contemplating moving somewhere warmer and sunnier just to see if it changes anything.

I have a few degrees from my younger years and this sleep problem has taken over in the last 3 or 4 years to the point that I cannot even work. I don't feel I should be working until I figure out what the heck is going on with me and do something about it.

Go to a naturopath and make sure your body's getting everything it needs. Got to a sleep clinic and rule out any disorders (delayed sleep cycle etc.). Go to an allergist and find out what your allergies are. Take it a step further and go to an environmental allergy clinic or research any possible reactions to non-typical elements you are exposed to. Last but not least, head somewhere with more sun for a week's vacation and document your energy levels.

I'm going to try the last one in a few weeks. If I see improvements, I will be seriously considering a place to call home from October to April.

Keep us posted.

 
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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AlwaysTired247 HB User
Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal88 View Post
It's just been getting worse. Sleeping 10-11 hours a day, dead tired and lethargic all day, arms ache and feel heavy, but now I'm getting more and more sleepy during the day as well. Coffee doesn't do anything for me. I've almost fallen asleep in the shower, almost fell asleep in the chair at the barber's, and my focus and situational awareness is completely shot when I drive--I probably shouldn't even be driving any more.

I managed to get a sleep study scheduled in two weeks--apparently doctors don't understand that I really need it now because it's screwing up my life. I've already had to drop one of my morning classes because I just couldn't make it, and now I'm starting to miss my other morning class. My brain is so scattered and shot I can barely pay attention in my afternoon classes and when I come home all I want to do is sleep, much less do homework.

UPDATE: last night I woke up from my sleep, and was paralyzed for maybe 3-5 seconds. My brain was awake, and felt slightly scared, but I couldn't open my eyes, couldn't talk or even make noise, and couldn't move. Once I snapped out of it I just rolled onto my side and went back to sleep.
First off... try not to freak out. Anxiety will just make this worse. Now, as a current suffer of 6 and a half years of excessive daytime sleepiness (which can be different from fatigue) I will tell you that you need to look into two things (based off what you have already said)

this right here : Sleeping 10-11 hours a day, dead tired and lethargic all day, arms ache and feel heavy, but now I'm getting more and more sleepy during the day as well. Screams Atypical Depression. Have you experienced any forms of stress, feeling down lately? Google Atypical Depression and see if these things fit you.

now... the second thing is the "paralysed out of body feeling" You said you have a sleep study scheduled. This is good because it might be Narcolepsy.

You could have also messed up your sleep cycle because you were in a different timezone for a long period of time.

So... try to relax. Do the sleep study and talk with your doctor if that comes back fine. I am not a doctor, but I'm someone who has been through every doctor and supplement I can think of to rid myself of my EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness).

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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Re: Can't wake up early--lots of fatigue

I would really like to hear what happened with this story or anyone that responded with similiar problems.

 
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