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Groggy and Lethargic ALL DAY, Never feel refreshed even with 8h+

I'm 23 and I've been having this problem for awhile and can't seem to get it fixed. If I get 8 hours of sleep I wake up feeling groggy and have to deal with being sluggish and having "brain fog" all day. I just feel so slow. I never feel refreshed upon awakening, and I am yawning consistently all day. I'm always lacking energy, my short term memory is terrible..and my head is just all cloudy. I think it may have something to do with the actual quality of my sleep, specifically the deep sleep that I get because after being diagnosed with sleep apnea and using a CPAP it has not made the slightest bit of a difference. I also have a deviated septum, can only breath out of 1 nostril, and am congested a lot of the time. I REALLY need some help so I really hope you all can take the time to read all of this.

The interesting thing is, if I take a Nap I wake up feeling refreshed...and that's the only time I ever truly feel refreshed and awake. If I happen to be dead tired at some point in a given day to the point I can't help but close my eyes and sleep (usually when I get 5-7 hours of sleep the previous night) I'll get 3-4 hours of usually uninterrupted sleep and for once wake up feeling like how the normal person probably feels after getting a full night's rest. But what's funny is even though I feel refreshed after the nap, maybe around 7-8 hours after that I get tired to where I sleep again, but in that time span that I'm awake from the nap I feel pretty good.

I've had problems with falling asleep frequently in the past dating as close to 3 weeks ago. For example at the beginning of the year I couldn't sleep until 5 am, then that became 7 am, then that became 9 am....I'd eventually fix it then get off schedule and end up pushing it back to the point where it gets completely thrown off again. Even when i would purposely get minimal sleep, or none at all on a night, so that I can sleep at a normal time the following night ity would end up turning in to naps and I'd have to try my hardest to stay asleep for a reasonable amount of time (like at LEAST 5 hours)...even though I got little to no sleep the previous night.

But currently I've established a good routine and I don't plan on letting it slip this time. I've been sleeping from 11 - 12 and waking up from 7:30 - 8:30 these past 2-3 weeks. I can't remember one time in these past few weeks I had uninterrupted sleep. I'm waking up 3-4 times a night that I know of, and about half of the nights these past few weeks I've been waking up with drool and I would have to go to the bathroom and wash my mouth before going back to bed.

I think being able to sleep without waking up in the middle of the night may be part of the reason. I also have a hunch that there's some type of problem with my sleep routines in correlation to my REM sleep. Every time I establish a routine I feel different upon waking up and throughout the day. For example I was sleeping at 12:30 and waking up at 7 daily without alarm assistance late last year and I feel different then I do now. Another routine I had last year was sleeping at 10 and waking up at 4 daily (no alarm) for a couple weeks..I would feel different than the 12:30 - 7 routine and my sleep routine now. 2 years ago I had a routine where I slept from 11:30 - 7. On this routine I'd feel dead tired by 11 and I'd just pass out by 11:30. I'd wake up at 7 and if I remember correctly, I don't think my sleep was interrupted much if at all during this routine. I'd wake up feeling pretty refreshed when I was on this pattern. Compare that to my routine now, I don't get that feeling of tiredness where I can just close my eyes and fall asleep just like that. I have to turn everything ofd ahead of time and try to put myself in a rested state and "try" to sleep. Also on my routine now I'm sleeping 8 hours and hitting snooze on my alarm and have trouble just getting up even if I've slept 8+ hrs. On the aforementioned from 2 years ago it was like my body had it's own clock and would wake up automatically feeling up, and same thing with some of the other routines I've had that have been within normal sleep times. Earlier this year I was sleeping from 2:30 - 10:30 for 2 weeks and I felt like complete crap. I felt even more groggy and slow then I even do now.

Now I've been diagnosed with Sleep apnea but I'm skeptical, here's why. I originally took a sleep test in early 2009 for the reasons of this thread, always being groggy and never having energy. The results were negative, they said I had no sleep issues. I even told them that I had a cold so maybe it interfered with the test they said no it wouldn't. Fast forward a year and a half later I take another sleep study test at a different place, this time because for reasons of not being able to sleep. My sleep ended patterns ended up getting corrected because I began full time work not long after so I didn't even really follow up. I found out this year that the results from the test was that I had Moderate Obstructive Apnea with an AHI of 19.

But when I went for a follow the doctor told me that during the test, I only had "hypopneas" or whatever it is when I was on my back. He said this never happened when I was on my side and that more or less when I was on my side everything was test. Now..I only slept on my back for the sleep study because of all the uncomfortable stuff they hook up to you. At home when I sleep, I sleep on my side probably 95% of nights. I started using the CPAP and it made NO difference. Maybe my pressure was too low? Well I went in a few weeks ago for another study this time with the CPAP to optimize the pressure. Again I felt no different that day then I do every other day..still slow still yawning, still groggy.

But I thought something very interesting happened during the sleep study, and it goes back to my point of there being issues with my REM sleep. I fell asleep around 11 during the test, on my back. I remember waking up and it must have been around 12. After about 10 minutes I fell back asleep. Then I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and awake. I thought it was morning. I called my attendant to come in, and she told me it was 3:15 and I was shocked because I thought it was time to get up.
She remarked to me how I had just gotten really good Deep sleep. And I told her I know I feel good and refreshed. But the study ends at 6. So I made myself go back to sleep and I wake up at 6 feeling HORRIBLE in comparison. I felt so groggy and sluggish and the rest of that day I felt fatigued. She even confirmed to me that my 12 - 3:15 sleep I was getting better, deeper sleep then the stretch after that.

I'm at the point where I'm sick and tired of all this. I don't know why my body is like this. It's taking a big toll on my quality of life and I never have energy, a clear head, and desire to do anything. I avoid the smallest things because I dread the amount of energy they take, which to me feels like a lot. I've been on ADHD medications from my doctor, all the main ones, for the past couple of months and they haven't made a difference. The times during trial where I took a fairly large dose (by prescribed standards) of various meds, I'd just feel really speedy and still never have a clear head or that much energy. A lot of the yawning and fatigue would still be there. And even worse even with their lack of great benefit I wouldn't be able to fall asleep when it comes time to. And I should also note that the time when I have the most energy during the day is about 2 or less hours from the time I should be sleeping that night. It's funny, I'll be fatigued the whole day and at 9pm I'll finally feel like I'm awake and ready to do something, but I need to sleep at 11 - :11:30pm ...
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First Helper SleepProbs
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replied June 3rd, 2011
Experienced User
hi, it dose sound like you have a real isue with your sleep.

have you tryed being outside in the sunshine in the mornings, or failing that a SAD sertifed sun lamp for an hour or two will do. this may help as it should reduce your menatolin levels in the day and help you sleep at night. it has worked for me with SAD and that can realy upset sleep paterns as the hormons realy tie themseves in knots.

try to get your hormon levels checked, a full spectrum blood test should show up any problems which mite be coursing the problems.

stick at it, you will find a soulution if you push hard enuf to get awnsers to the problems. it may take time but there will be an awnser.
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replied July 18th, 2011
Hi there,

I can't believe the similarities between your symptoms and my own!

I am also 23 and having these exact sleep issues. I just had my 1st sleep study and am about to see a sleep specialist to have it "read". My primary care physician gave me a preview however and said there was no obvious finding of the study.

I actually hold my breath in my sleep for a completely unknown obviously subconscious or psychosomatic reason.

The most remarkable similarity is the way that a very short nap makes me feel like I slept the best night's sleep ever and a full night would almost be worse than just ch staying up! I've tried a lot of things, different pillow arrangements, different body positions, now I'm onto a new bed and I don't know what could possibly work. I've thought of many other possible contributing issues such as diet and exercise but I am active and eat a reasonable diet as well.

I work and I'm a student so clarity of mind is something I value very, very highly. I really hope I can get it back!
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replied February 8th, 2012
Hi I used to feel the same way went on for a year or more , had all tests under the sun and had doctors telling me it was depression , ah wrong , I eventually found a endochrinologist that a friend recommended , she found th problem , I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome from to many years of dietary abuse and 4 hours sleep a night , she put me on a low dose of antidressant , to raise my seritonin levels , bingo after months of suffering I feel great and back to normal , so you may be suffering from CFS .
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replied February 28th, 2012
Hello,

I am 27 years old and I am suffering from exactly the same problem for nearly 2 years, the big difference is that I fall asleep very easily (~10-20min.) and I never wake up during my sleep. I'm always groggy and lethargic from the time I wake up in the morning to mid-afternoon. I have that brain-fog like feeling and also a constant pressure on my forehead. It's very hard to concentrate, my sense of initiative to do anything is nonexistent, consequently my productivity is very low. I have quit drinking coffee a few months ago since I started to get panic attacks from this fatigued state and the coffee boost (potentially related to undiagnosed CFS).

It's curious that at around lunch time I feel a bit better, happens randomly before or after lunch. Sometimes just 5 minutes after starting to eat, which I'm pretty sure is not enough time for the digestive system to process whatever I just swallowed, other times a few minutes before eating. Then around 9pm-10pm I snap into a refreshed state where I feel the most awake and energetic than any other time during the whole day just to have to go to sleep one or two hours later. I still haven't got to the bottom of this and it's very hard to figure out what is going on. On weekends I have the opportunity to sleep a bit more than the usual 7-8h and I feel my head a bit more refreshed but there is still that sluggish feeling that only starts to dissipate within a couple of hours of waking up. No matter how much sleep I get, whatever provokes this behavior only fades a few hours (mostly 4h) after I wake up. Anyway, the symptoms are more prominent with less sleep. In sum it feels like I rest while I'm awake just to get tired during sleep.

If you are reading this then I wish you well and if you have some interesting facts about a similar problem please post it here so that it may help others.

@bull75 You said you were diagnosed with CFS, a few questions if I may:
- How was the CFS diagnosed in your case?
- What antidepressant were you prescribed with?
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replied March 20th, 2012
Fatigued
Hi there,

I have been on Cpap and Bipap for the last two years, I am extremely fatigued during the day. Am on antidepressants, high blood pressure, cholesterol meds and still feel very lousy. I was on testosterone it was low and has since increased. My iron and thyroid is ok. My doctor just keeps messing with the pressures, backup etc. I have had two sleep studies done within the last two years. Can anyone help?
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replied June 23rd, 2012
Narcolepsy
I have very simular symptoms: I have Narcolepsy. There is no treatment, just management of the symptoms. Antidepressants, regular sleep schedules (usually shorter with naps throughout the day, if you get a diagnosis, your work can be required to accomidate your 15 minute nap every 3-4 hours!) Your doctor can prescribe stimulants for the day and medicine at night to help you sleep deeper. If untreated and accompanied with stress, you may (like I do), start suffering cataplexy or hypnogogic hallucinations! AH- those are the WORST. You feel like someone is in the room, killing you and you cannot wake up, or you startle awake with so much adrenaline, you think you may have heart attack. I think hormones and our food quality has a lot to do with these sleeping issues that re creeping up on our population. So, good luck finding what will owrk for you!
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replied June 23rd, 2012
I have very simular symptoms: I have Narcolepsy. There is no treatment, just management of the symptoms. Antidepressants, regular sleep schedules (usually shorter with naps throughout the day, if you get a diagnosis, your work can be required to accomidate your 15 minute nap every 3-4 hours!) Your doctor can prescribe stimulants for the day and medicine at night to help you sleep deeper. If untreated and accompanied with stress, you may (like I do), start suffering cataplexy or hypnogogic hallucinations! AH- those are the WORST. You feel like someone is in the room, killing you and you cannot wake up, or you startle awake with so much adrenaline, you think you may have heart attack. I think hormones and our food quality has a lot to do with these sleeping issues that re creeping up on our population. So, good luck finding what will owrk for you!
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replied August 8th, 2012
I am 75 and my whole life had lack of energy. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with sleepapnea. Used a cpap for more then 2 years but no changes. Then I found out that my sleep does not reach the deepsleep cycle and I now know that that is my problem. The deepsleep refreshes your body and that does NOT happen with me. I wake up as tired as when I go to bed.
Been searching and searching to find a way how to get into the deepsleep cycle however without success.
Guess I'll have to suffer the rest of my life.
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replied November 15th, 2012
I'm going through the same thing! My sort term memory is absolutely horrible to the point of where i can't remember something someone just told me. My head is always foggy and I never seem to be fully awake. I also had panic attacks and "night terrors" as a child and have never really been able to just go to sleep. I HAVE to have the tv or music or else I jolt awake after falling asleep. There are a few times when i feel great and what do you know, it's right after a brief sleep or nap. I have always struggled with anxiety and panic attacks and I am so lost as to how to feel good again. I am active I play music I don't smoke or anything. I eat a high quality diet. What is going on....
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replied November 16th, 2012
im going through the same thing as well. the only things that have alleviated it for me is changing how i sleep. i replaced my old mattress with a memory foam mattress (this helps me stay on my back instead of rolling over on my side) and limiting my pillows to two on the bed so its not overcrowded (also really good pillows that elevate my head just the right amount of space). i also bought a good, soft cuddly duvet that is really warm so i dont try and wrap myself up in it (to keep warm). these things all help me lie flat on the mattress, which helps me sleep longer. i still havent fixed the problem with my nose this definitely has helped, but this certainly has helped with the tossing and turning
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replied April 24th, 2013
I feel like crap tpp
I have the exact same symptoms. I constantly feel groggy, head fog, pressure in head, tired eyes, my eyes always feel a little squinted from being tired (they're never alert). I've had my blood work done. I've have a sleep study done (no problems). But WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE CRAP?? It interferes with every day life. I can't concentrate on school or things to do. My husband and I are about to have our first baby and I can't imagine how much more tired I will be. And I feel just as tired if I wake up at 6 a.m. or 8 a.m. or 10 or noon. Sleeping more does not help at all. I just always feel groggy and out of it. I hate this!

I'm wondering is it gluten? Is is it some other food allergy? GMOs? I've been debating trying a "raw" diet, but that's also an extreme change. Ugh. I just want an answer Sad
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