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Always want to nap, low energy, please help w/ideas

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Old 07-20-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
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plasva HB User
Always want to nap, low energy, please help w/ideas

Hi All,

I'm a 30 year old female and wondering how "normal" it is to want to take a nap every day, to looovvvee "sleeping in" (I would sleep until noon every day if I could) and have low energy constantly, and I've been this way my entire life, and other people in my family are this way, too.

Is it common to feel like falling asleep again about an hour after breakfast, so much that if you climb back into bed, you're asleep almost immediately?
To have the desire to laze around and nap all weekend more than the desire to go out and do things?

I don't even remember having energy as a child.

My thyroid is fine and no anemia present (has been tested several times throughout my life, including last year. TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 and CBC always test normal. Hemoglobin/Hematocrit in the middle of the normal range, not even the low end of normal.)
Asked for B12 test last year due to being vegetarian and tested 300-something, which doctor said was fine. (Normal range: 200- 1000).
Note: I have had this energy issue as far back as I can remember, even long before becoming vegetarian.
I'm not really overweight (5'5" and 140 lbs., female).
Not dehydration- I drink plenty of water throughout the day.
I don't think is related to nutrition- eat many fruits, veggies, plenty of protein (eggs, peanut butter, whole grains, beans, some soy but try not to eat a lot of soy.)
I take calcium, magnesium, and 1000 IU Vitamin D daily.

As far as my schedule goes, I work 2nd shift and do tend to stay up late (01:00 - 02:00 am), but then I get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours if I force myself out of bed, 9-11 if I let myself sleep as long as I need to to not feel like I'm torturing myself out of bed.) But again, this energy issue started long long before I started working this shift.

I really don't think this is due to sleep apnea, as like I said, I've been this way my entire life. Also I don't snore. I suppose it could be mild sleep apnea, but could that start in early childhood and is there anything that would clue me that that's always been my problem?

Does anyone have any ideas what I can try?
Before you suggest exercise, I ran cross country in high school and still felt this way (I remember one time having to fight to keep myself awake... while running!), and I used to belong to a gym and exercise regularly, and it didn't help with energy (I remember leaving the gym thinking, yay, now I can go home and nap), though I don't work-out at this point in my life.

Also, if anyone has any ideas what could cause this/why I'm like this. Could it possibly be genetic? Everyone in my immediate family enjoys napping and some besides me nap as often as they can, too. My sibling has this exact same "problem." I think my parents might, too, because they nap a lot, although they get up early every morning, whereas I have always had to force myself to get up early, even if I went to bed early.
(This has nothing to do with the home environment-- I don't live with my family and have had this issue through many different apartments and houses.)

Depression does run in our family, but I'm on a medication that works (10 mg Lexapro), and this is not a side effect of the medication, because I've had this energy issue since long before trying meds. It may be a side effect of depression, but what can I do about it if I'm no longer depressed and yet still ttiiirrreeedd all the time?

I am just so sick of wanting to sleep all the time. When I'm a passenger in a car, I want to sleep. When I'm on an airplane, I can't keep myself awake! If I'm lying down to read a book, I always want to fall asleep. Etc. Etc.

Thanks for anything you have to say!!

Last edited by plasva; 07-20-2009 at 12:29 AM. Reason: To add something

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: Always want to nap, low energy, please help w/ideas

Hi there,

From what you are telling us, it's possible that you have an underlying sleep disorder of some kind. And given that others in your family have similar issues like yours, it's also possible that there's a genetic predisposition for it...what they call EDS- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness. (They've got initials for everything these days!)

But EDS is just an umbrella term for a myriad of problems.

Some sleep disorders are neurological. Others are caused by things that are either psychological or caused by head trauma or some kind of interruption of your normal circadian rhythm.

Have you thought of seeing a neurologist? He/she may order a sleep study for you which might reveal what's going on, given that this has been almost lifelong.
This is no way to live, and lots of help if you need it!

zuzu xx

Old 07-20-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Always want to nap, low energy, please help w/ideas

What's your normal blood pressure? My sister has normally very low bp (90/50) and consumes large amounts of caffeine to keep going during the day.

Old 07-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
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plasva HB User
Re: Always want to nap, low energy, please help w/ideas

After I posted this, I did some more thinking about my/my family's lifestyle. From what I remember growing up, we did all either 1) Stay up very late OR 2) Stay up moderately late AND wake up early. I was thinking about how none of us follow nature's rhythm, and although most people don't, maybe some people can't "bounce back" as well as others?

It's so rare that I go to bed at a "normal" person's time, and maybe I just am not capable of feeling good if I stay up late, even if I do get my 8 or 9 or 10 hours of rest?

So I'm going to do an experiment and try going to bed as soon as I get home from work (unfortunately, that's midnight, but better than my usual 2:00 a.m.) for a week and see if I fare better.

I think I've just always had a messed-up circadian rhythm, as someone suggested, from going to bed so late so often. I've never been able to get myself to bed by 10:00 pm... it's the only time I'm NOT tired, LOL. That's been my life pattern: stay up late, be sleepy all day (sometimes not getting enough sleep, sometimes getting plenty, but still sleepy all day), but suddenly not tired enough to sleep when night stay up late again....


I might just need to completely change my lifestyle. I hope that is all it takes! But it's just sooo hard to get out of bed in the mornings. And so hard to go to bed before it's something- a.m.!

I'll post an update after my week's experiment.

PS: Normal blood pressure. Usually 120/80 or a bit lower.

Last edited by plasva; 07-22-2009 at 10:43 PM.

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