Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Need help diagnosis sleep disorder

Hi there, I have suffered with problems with my sleep ever since my early teens. My doctor has never really taken me seriously, and doesn't seem to gauge the scale of the problem and just gives me advice on sleep hygiene which has proven completely useless, and also said 'No one can tell you how to get a deep sleep. If you can't fall asleep, you're just not doing it right.' which made me very angry. The only thing he has ever given me are very weak antidepressants with drowsiness side effects, even though I don't have a problem with being drowsy or tired, its the falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting a deep sleep I have trouble with. I am now 24, and I have decided enough is enough.

I have suffered from sleep paralysis since I was 13, but not regularly. I think the most frequent was 3 times in a year, but is once a year on average. This has been diagnosed and I can live with that as it is becoming less frequent.

What I can't live with is all the other symptoms I have to deal with on a day to day basis. I had looked on wikipedia, and a lot of my symptoms that I thought were down to just not sleeping properly, actually relate to disorders themselves. With so many sleep disorders around, I have no idea which one I have, besides the sleep paralysis.

The symptoms I get daily are:

Difficulty falling asleep at night (I can empty my head but often don't fall unconscious for a long time (20 minutes to an hour))
I randomly wake up through the night for no reason. Sometimes I cannot fall asleep again even though I am very tired.
I don't feel regenerated after sleep or naps
Constantly exhausted (mentally and physically), yawning through the day, and on bad days getting blurry vision, and unable to keep my eyes open at my desk at work, having to retreat to the toilets to shut my eyes for 10 minutes
Unable to concentrate
The only time I feel awake during the day is between around 8pm and 9:30pm for a random amount of time
Unable to think of anything to say during conversation due to extreme tiredness
Dark circles around the eyes
Feeling sick
Light sleeper (poor quality sleep. I get a deep sleep where I feel as though I have slept when I wake up maybe once every 6 months, but am tired again by 10am or 11am
Worn out easily during exercise
Need at least 8 hours sleep to avoid feeling sick the next day (still tired though)
Down (I wouldn't say depressed) due to it, but it upsets me
No energy during the day, leading to lack of drive to do anything due to feeling unable to gather the energy
Takes longer to think about things or work things out due to tiredness
Very poor memory

That's all I can think of. I walk 40 minutes a day so I get exercise, and I have a healthy diet due to having a girlfriend who is vegetarian who cooks for me. I have tried everything sleep hygiene-wise to no avail and had been on an extreme fitness course for 3 months in the past to try and wear myself out to get deeper sleeps, which didn't help. I am not overweight, and blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect. I have also tried self hypnosis.

I'm really very desperate now, and just want to feel regenerated and awake like a normal person and stay asleep during the whole night.

Any help would be great!!!
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied December 8th, 2012
Experienced User
Our bodies are under a lot of stress because of the environment. Even with the benefits of you exercising, you are still breathing in the impurities. The one thing we will all learn soon is we need to constantly go through detoxing process with Glutathione, in order to just function correctly and have more balance.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 8th, 2012
I have all of those same symptoms and suffer with sleep walking and sleep apnea. You need to have sleep studies done on you. Next time you are sleeping ask your girlfriend to try to stay awake and watch you sleep or record yourself somehow. If you stop breathing at all for a couple seconds to a minute or so then you would have sleep apnea and if you sleep walk you probably wouldn't know it. The only way I found out I had both was because someone finally told me that I sleep walk. Apparently I've always done this and I had NO IDEA! Never remember any of it. I've gone as far as walking my dogs at night in my pj's to finding my keys in my truck ignition. I have no idea if I drove or not? It's scary! So I am still undergoing sleep studies and they still get me to try different things but I feel like I haven't slept in the last 15 years! I feel for you and you need to get professional help.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 14th, 2012
Thanks for that. I called BUPA, they said if I can get an open referral from my GP then they can try and find out what's going on. In the mean time, I've ditched the low power anti depressants and gone onto a mix of Inositol, 5 htp and omega 3. I must admit I feel marginally better during the day with general brain function, but the sleep issues persist and I still feel tired.

It doesn't help my girlfriend is a very active sleeper. She rolls around and kicks her legs a lot which keeps me awake which doesn't help. I've spoken to her about my sleep problems and she tries to fall asleep as close to the other side of the bed as possible.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 14th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
Good detailed post. Some thoughts for you:

Generally sleep paralysis is nothing to worry about. It's fairly common. During REM sleep, a part of the brain called the pons blocks signals from our brains to our muscles, which helps stop us from physically acting out our dreams. Wouldn't be surprised if this is related to what you are experiencing. Sounds like you are good with just letting this go.

The unrefreshing sleep and other symptoms you are describing sound consistent with insomnia. To treat this, you need to get to the true root of the problem, which isn't, interestingly enough, sleep.

Insomnia is invariably a symptom of something else going on deeper that is causing the sleep problems.

In your case, the meds you are taking could potentially be having a sleep disruptive effect. Beware of a sleep-disrupting rebound effect from many medications, including sleeping pills and anxiety meds. This is is something to discuss with your doc. Adjustments may be possible that will help.

Your doc can also help you either treat or rule out any other potential underlying medical issues.

If that doesn't do it, then you've got to go beyond a strictly medical solution. For the vast majority of us, insomnia is caused by some combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleep. Chronic stress and anxiety often also play a role.

The best solution to treat insomnia without a true medical basis (also known as primary insomnia) is CBT -- cognitive behavioral therapy, specifically designed for insomnia. It is very effective and helps most people who try it.

If you haven't already checked out CBT sleep training methods, you can google it and find a number of free or low cost self-help resources.

Good luck!
Did you find this post helpful?