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Falling Asleep while driving?
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Falling Asleep while driving?

I started noticing a couple of years ago that I would fall asleep for a second while driving.  It escalated to a point that on a weekly long trip I needed to take that I would start falling asleep at the wheel many times and have had many close calls.    I finally had to give up on driving this trip and had to hire someone to drive me.   I don't believe I have sleep apnea as I sleep well, don't snore and get a full nights sleep.   This falling asleep at the wheel can happen at any time of the day.
Is there a medical reason for this?    I also have severe neck degeneration.  Could sometime be cutting off oxygen to my brain when I'm in this position?    I don't fall asleep at other times.  Just while I am driving.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

I have some questions:

Have you any carotid doppler scan done or any evaluation to the blood vessels of your extremities?

Is this "falling asleep" similar to losing control of your motor function?

Do you usually play soothing music while driving?

Do you place one of those calming air fresheners in your car?

Does the driver dose off too?

We are trying to look into environmental causes of your sleepiness since you have noted that this only occurs while you are driving.

Have you had your car checked lately ?

Do keep us posted with your answers.
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387660_tn?1242600342
accidently entered before ending last post.....   I started to say that I entered this under another forum because I also get this weird face and head sweating that happens to me.    I had a reply from someone that has the same exact symtoms (symptoms) with the neck degeneration and facial sweating and falling asleep at the wheel.  She also did not have any answers.
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387660_tn?1242600342
Thank you for your interest in my question.   I've not heard of that scan.    This sleeping started happening slowly and is escalating.  I've had different vehicles and also as a passenger in someone elses car this will happen.  My driver is always fine.   No air fresheners and happens with or without music.   I also have had other weird symptoms
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

Drowsiness or sleepiness may be due to a decreased blood supply to the brain brought about by any disorder in circulation due to cardiovascular problems.

I suggest you have a complete work up done including a carotid duplex scan , a 2 D echocardiography to assess cardiac size and to note any cardiac abnormalites, coagulation tests, and an EEG to rule out seizures.Assessment of the blood vessels in your extremities may also rule out any existing blood clots or vascular insufficiencies.

Your primary physician will be able to help you rule out any underlying causes. Although this may not be an urgent case, frequent sleepiness or drowsiness require further assessment.

Keep in touch with us regarding your progress. I hope this helps.

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387660_tn?1242600342
Along with the drowiness at the wheel I also experience strange facial and head sweating and sensitivity to heat.   Last summer I went to emergency with chest pressure and with the head/face sweating they admitted me for two nights with the suspicion of heart attack.  It ended up being a little pneunomia on the lungs but they did the complete heart workups and heart was fine.     Yesterday I had an appointment with a specialist and she suspects auto-immune diseases and I'm currently being tested for that with an emphisis on Lupus and liver diseases since my liver is slighly compromised.
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798555_tn?1292791151
Just noticed this is an old post!

So you know its not your car, its all cars.

Or is it really just when you are relaxed for a long period. Like watch TV or in meetings? If so then its not from holing onto a steering wheel.  Auto travel can have a relaxing almost hypnotising affect watching those lines wizz by also.

The doc mentioned Autoimmune. The most common of those is the one that old docs seem to think only women get.......Thyroidisim. Many men have this, as well as young athletic ones. Regular thyroidism (just a slow old thyroid) is not autoimmune and many older women have this. Autoimmune thyroidism, Hoshimoto and Graves can affect anyone!  Thousands are undiagnosed. Sweating,hot feel is one of the symtyms. Thyroid is responsible for the speed that the whole body and its organs work y, you could be hyper or hypo.

Get blood test for TSH and free T3 and T4. If your ranges are wacked then test for thyroid antibodies - autoimmune.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am not sure who to direct this to.

I too start falling asleep while driving. It really scares me! I have always even as a child found the car to be somewhat of a "comfort zone" for me in which I would fall asleep within minutes of being in the car. It seems as I have gotten older it has gotten worse. It's very strange because often times when I begin driving I am not tired at all. I usually get around seven or eight hours of sleep, I don't have restless leg syndrome, I don't have any problems falling asleep or staying asleep, I don't get up numerous times to use the rest room, the only thing I wonder is whether I have sleep apnea. Or if anyone has any idea what it could be.

I read the other posts and usually in the car I try to keep the radio on...upbeat music. To try and keep myself awake Ill try rolling the window down, yelling at myself, slapping myself on my cheeks or legs, when it comes down to it I end up calling someone to keep me awake. It really *****.

There will be times when I am driving and I don't remember driving to my end location. I really would hate myself if I were to cause an accident.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't have any health insurance or anything as I got laid off in January. I am so scared I no longer know what to do.

PLEASE HELP.

BACKGROUND:
I am a 25 year old Mexican American Female. I am obese (I think this may have something to do with it)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi There,
I have been experiencing the same symptons while I drive.  I don't have a problem sleeping at night and hardly ever wake up during the night either.  Before I drive I am always well rested nor am I really tired, but I still doze off.  I have tried music, having the window open, have the passenger talk to me, pinching myself, slapping my face but sometimes none of these work.  At times I have just pulled over, but then I am completely awake again.  I never understood what was wrong with me.  I am going to take the tests above and see if there is actually a problem with the blood flow.  It was a bit of a relief that I am not the only one who is going through this.  I hope you find a solution.
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1156032_tn?1262386596
I've been nodding off while driving for about a year now. Not every-time, but often enough where I no longer take trips because of the fear. My driving consists of to work, food store, and dr. I've had the sleep study done, Not conclusive as I am claustrophobic and kept tearing the mask off. I am 59, female, and have hypothyroidism, pernicious anemia for which I get B12 shots every other week but really does nothing for me. My blood pressure is 120/80 with meds. When I go to work in the morning I am fine. It's when I leave 3:15pm that the nodding off begins. I don't know what to do anymore. I am not crazy. I'm even wondering if there is a gas leakage (non odorous) in the car that is causing the problem.
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1156032_tn?1262386596
Forgot to add I suffer from shortness of breath where there are times I am gasping for air. Have had lung evals/tests done and nothing, Yet I still have it.
Very frustrated because it has really put the end to my love of driving and trips.
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387660_tn?1242600342
I think its from my autonomic dysfunction from my autoimmune disease.   When I drive my heart beat slows thus slowing the blood flow to my brain.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have also been doing this dozing off thing!  It's driving me crazy.  I thought at first it was only longer trips like 45 minutes or more.  Then, the other day I started doing it while driving home from work and it had snowed so everyone was driving really slow.  I told myself that I just got bored with it and decided to doze off.  And that is only like a 20 minute drive.  
I also try to wake myself up like others have said by shaking my head and stuff like that or maybe rolling down a window but it really doesn't help.  I also am never tired when starting these road trips either.  I do go to bed very late sometimes even straining my eyes to keep myself awake but I usually get around 6-7 hours of sleep.  So, I'm not really that deprived.
One symptom that I've also recently experienced is numbness in my extremities.  I have told my doctor about this at my last visit.  He called it Reynauds (sp?) Syndrome I believe and his only comment about it really is if my hands are white or red first when I start to notice the pain.  It's basically like a burning feeling in your fingers or toes mine actually is in the tips of my ears too.  Sometimes you can't tell if it's a hot or cold feeling.  Then comes a burning feeling I guess after the blood starts to come back to the affected areas.
That actually is kind of how I feel about the dozing off.  I thought maybe it was a loss of blood supply to my brain or something similar to this disease.  I can even feel it coming on like my eyes want to start rolling up into my head.  I can even be singing and listening to good music and it doesn't matter.  It's really scary.  What's happening to me?  I am a 37 year old white female.
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387660_tn?1242600342
That sounds like me too.   I also get the same numbness in my extremities.   The latest thing is now I notice that when i'm standing too long I get sweaty and my heart races and I get totally weak and need to sit down immediately.    I'm noticing it will happen with less and less time standing now.    I'm going to see my cardiologist soon.  Someone suggested to me that it sounded like vasovagal syncope.   When I googled that it does sound like a possibility.
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1202811_tn?1265520405
I also fall asleep while driving. It is really scary cause alot of times i have my son with me. I do get plenty of sleep at night it started about 5years ago and has only got worse. I also have fallen asleep while standing and when i worked i would fall asleep there luckily i had someone to wake me before i got in trouble. I dont understand i am 27 years old i get plenty of sleep it is really aggravating.  When i stary driving i will be wide awake then all of a sudden i cant keep my eyes open. I too have tried rolling the window down and playing music it doesnt work. I have to stay on phone talking to try and stay awake and even then it sometimes doesnt work. I too get sweaty and my heart races and i get weak when standing too long. I have seen doctors and they all say i am not getting enough sleep and give me sleeping pills which i do not take cause i get 6-8hours of sleep already. i have been tested for sleep apnea and i dont have it. I am not overweight. I have perfect blood pressure 120/70. I do however have neck problems. I have been told that maybe i am not getting  enough oxygen to the brain. I am just glad i am not alone. If anyone has any suggestions please tell.
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387660_tn?1242600342
Ask your doctor to have you tested for vasovagel syncope.   Thats done with a tilt-table test.   What you are describing is EXACTLY what was happening to me while driving.   The only thing that would help was to talk to someone on the phone.   Buy one of those blood pressure machines from the drug store.   They run about 50.00.    Then test your blood pressure both sitting and standing.    Your BP should normally be the same but if you see a significant drop while standing that is a good sign that this is the problem.   They do have meds that help reverse this problem.    
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1202811_tn?1265520405
Thanks so much for the advice I go to the doctor tommorrow and I will suggest that to him. I really do appreciate it. I am so glad to know I am not alone that there are others that have the same problem as me.
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Avatar_m_tn
please let us know how your check-up went.  i am 33, male, good shape, try to exercise 5 times a week and eat somewhat healthy (i do have a weakness for pizza and beer, but try to keep that to weekends, and in moderation).  I sleep 8 hours, usually pretty deeply though sometimes my little dog wakes me up.  I used to get very tired driving on long trips, but now it seems if I'm driving longer than 20 minutes, I get dangerously drowsy.  I've not yet fallen asleep, but it's a painful battle where I try all the things you've named (caffeine, slapping, radio, windows).  The only thing that works is stimulating conversation, and the occasional gripping episode of This American Life.  It's a bad situation and I'd love to remedy it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 31 year African American  Female who experiences some of the same symptoms.  I am glad I am not alone.  I do not do trips past 2 hours because of this.  People think i am crazy and just lazy.  I fall to sleep in motion all the time.  On planes, buses, cars you name it.  I also start to get a drowsy feeling when I drive and the sun is shining bright.  I sleep very well and I am just trying to get some answers.  

I am uninsured as well and a single mom so just looking for information.
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387660_tn?1242600342
yes yes yes....when the sun is shining bright as well!   Its still a mystery.   I have autonomic dysfunction which has caused vasovagel syncope but according to the doctor the falling asleep in the car doesn't have anything to do with this.   Perhaps some other form of autonomic nerve dysfunction?   Drowsygirl....I've been to so many docs and noone can figure it out so save your bucks because noone will be able to tell you anything I think.   Oh....I also went for a sleep study to see if it might be sleep apnea but I passed that test.
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Avatar_m_tn
The Yoga Pranayam (breathing exercises) will relax you and help with sleep problem.
Build up your timing gradually. If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after 1 minute.

Kapalbhati -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 5 to 15 minutes twice a day. Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.

Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 10 to 20  minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.

Bhramri Pranayam -Close eyes. Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three fingers on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in through nose. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 5 to 12  times

Once you are better, continue the pranayam once a day.
All this will fix the sleep problem over the long term and you will notice some other health benefits as well.

For short term quick fix:
Do kapalbhati for about 2 to 3 minutes and you will not feel drowsy. Try it now.
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Avatar_m_tn
If people fall asleep driving ,why drive ? i have some issue i get so tired just comes on out of no were i can not keep my eyes open my brain i think shuts down most time i lie down wake up couple hours most time dont remember falling asleep . anyone no anything happens regualar nights as well i remember watching tv then waking up with a drink in hand  its messed up i am glad i am laid off seems its getting worse as i get older now 31, i  tell my dr  it's always depression im not depressed i mean come on i think its redic this is  why i dont trust and most dont trust talking to  dr's .Quick not  to help .Also i  can not slep most nights till 2-4 am mostly back pain  then fall asleep till 9-10 look for work nap when get done before super usually tired but regular days i due fall asleep at 9-10 pm get up at 7-8 am tops . i still get this so its not lack sleep cancer,fibor runsin the family on both sides very heavy one side dfads all my grandma and siter ,brothers have died ,have cancer  as well as cousins died of tumors and momsside fibor both sisters severe grandpa died at 32 of cancer yet had almost same symphtoms an like he might had fibor as he had all the sighs as they do they blamed most then in 60's on the war of 2 as he was shot 6 or so times saving men on fieldagainst ******* nazi's. I tellmy dr pain in my neck allot an have a lump he just looked said no pain its calcium buid up its right on my spine on my neck at tghe top before entering the head think im dying?   anyone thinks anything contact me thanks like here any info no stupid stuff why dont trust dr's p[ain is severe most time and was diagnosed with lumbar damage thats fun most time lol its like a nife in the back and someone has a viseon my *** most the time leg pain is severe locks up as i have to actually by hand straighten it out it's just unreal .? anxiety getting worse due no one has really cared so i dont tell them if you tell them once twice three times i say if they dont care fu. them like you are invisabale no depression always that i mean uis this all they no say depression think they all own stocks in the companys making this poison .This is why they all say depression kick back i no they get something seems all stick to one kind like celexa sh.t is garbage dont does nothing waste money now went to almost 60.00 was 9.00 at begining i been tried on somany depression meads with my anxiety med and that dont work well endless  i take the  max and still have chest tight on it i tried my self taking over a little worked think need go up dr dont believe in anxiety said in the head i say yes it is called chemical imbalance i mean how dumb are all they do they here themselves ? I want to stay anonoymous as i will probally get it worse just wanted see if anyone new anything on the sleep thing is all but i figured background helps some .noit meads either it happened of meads for years all so i mean not that tried most common sense stuff myself . i will stop back see if anyone answers that has an idea of what they are saying thank you billy the kid lol
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Avatar_m_tn
@leximorenita... Oh My Goodness... I have been going through this same thing for over a year, and what is horrible... is I commute two hours a day.  I now keep a hair tie in my car to put on my wrist and I slap the metal part against my wrist every couple of seconds to keep me awake. I get to work or home and i have red bumps all over my arms.  I have also slapped my legs with a hair brush and pinched my inner thigh.  I am 33, get 7 hours of sleep a night... I am fine once I am out of the car... with my commute I am PETRIFIED I am going to kill myself or someone else, but I don't know what to do.  I get double vision and my head falls and when i "come to" I take a deep breath... I feel as if I wasn't breathing, but i know I was.  No other drivers get that way in my car (that was my 1st thought that maybe the exhaust was getting kicked back into the vehicle.  I have the radio on, windows down, absolutely EVERYTHING I can do to keep myself awake - the best thing is to call someone... I am scared and don't know what to do.  I had other issues that tests deemed inconclusive so I felt like I was making it all up and that was how the docs treated me so I just stopped going and trying to explain it to them.... now if I go with this they are going to think I am a wack job.
Just needed to see I am not the only one and tell my story.
Thanks All.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think we could start our own community as we are finding we are not alone in this. I have been struggling for 2 years tring to figure this out. Cpap helps some, Provagil helps with some of the daytime fatigue but nothing is helping with the falling asleep while driving. Adderall (adderrall), Ritalin, Mirapex now for Periodic limb movement not doing anything for driving fatigue. Only make it about 15-20 miles before starting to fight the fatigue. Too many close calls. I bring munchies to help me but also gaining weight I think from the fatigue so not always a good idea. If anyone has any suggestions please share with all, Nice to know we are not alone. On another note, i do have Psoriasis which is an autoimmune disorder so wondering if there is another one lerking inside not discovered yet. Very interested in getting checked for MS.  what do you guys think.
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Avatar_f_tn
On June 15th, I crashed my car not even 10 miles from home, on a regular commute of 62.5 miles.  This feeling has been around a while, but getting worse and I, too, am scared.  I could have died another foot or so over. Two years ago I took a temp job soldering on a factory line, and burned a hole in my vest when I did the fall-asleep thing and let the solder gun touch me.  Thank you all for posting what hasn't helped, so that when I see the neurologist as my NP wants, I'll be able to sort out the info given.  Since the accident, the best thing I've found is singing out loud to the oldies station (bye NPR), but it hasn't been long enough to see how well it actually works.
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1391991_tn?1280041136
Wow...i had no idea other people were having this same problem!  i, too, get plenty of sleep most nights, i'm 26, i AM overweight, but still active and try to eat healthy.  I can't stay awake while driving at night most of the time.  It's embarassing and scary.  I've found the best way to stay awake for me, is to munch on something (chips, fastfood, watever!).  Drinking doesn't do it, chewing gum doesn't do it.  I, too, have resorted to slapping my face, vigerously shaking my head, and trying to give myself charlie horses to stay awake.  I'm afraid to see the doctor, because i hope it's not something horrible...Please post any findings!!  Also, having a passenger doesn't really help me, nore does talking on the phone...BUT texting seems to help cause i have to be extra careful to not get caught, AND to focus on the road....now THAT'S scary!! :(
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Avatar_m_tn
Do this exercise while driving, to stay awake.
Kapalbhati - Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 30 times while driving. Not for pregnant women.  

The full set of exercises, described in my March 17, 2010 post, will help to reduce this sleepy problem over the long term and amke you healthy.
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1391991_tn?1280041136
thanks!  i'll give it a try!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have the same problem, but i have noticed a tightening coming on in my shoulders before my eyes start drooping, But it is not just in the car. It is anytime i sit for any extended period of time. My husband and i had just discussed the other day the possibility of the blood flow problem.  I am intrested in what all possibilities there are that could be the problem.
BTW I am a 30 y/o white female.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have a problem falling asleep while driving. I can drive in town OK but when I get on the highway I can only drive for about 1 hour before I start falling asleep. It seems to have got worse over the past couple of years. I though maybe I was just not getting enough sleep but it can occur anytime during the day. I recntly tried 5 hour energy but that did not realy seem eto help. After finding these postings there seems to be many other people with the same problem. Has anyone had sucess with the Yoga Pranayam listed here? I am a 48 year old male in good health and have always had excellent blood pressure and I am not overweight, 5'8" 135. Any other help would be greatly appreciated. Please email me if you have any advice.

Scott Rosenthal
***@****
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem,cant stay awake while driving.I am a 40yrs old male,215 lbs 5'11". I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and wear a mask with around 10lbs of pressure and it was absolutely no help.I still  fall asleep anytime of the day while driving ,I can stop driving and get out of the car and  within 5 minutes Im back wide awake.Police once stop me because he thought I was a drunk driver,he said he had several call about my driving and that people were afraid to pass me.I have had this problem for 20 years and its has only gotten worse.The 1st 15 years weren't too bad,I kept blaming it on not enought sleep. When I go to bed it only takes me a couple minutes to fall asleep,hardly ever get up during the night and gets 7-8 hours of spleep.Just riding I don't doze off and cant go to sleep unless Im just drained but get behind the wheel and it like a sleep aide .been throught the slapping face,singing,phone calls,windows down,coffee,snacks and so on.once fell asleep at a red light while stopping in a standard car,thank God I some how managed to stop and not go out in traffic and also keep the clutch depressed while I was sleep.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have this same problem.  After what happened yesterday, I have no idea how or why I'm still alive today.  I'm a 23 year old female.  Falling asleep while driving has gotten extremely bad for me in the past year.  I have a 50 minute drive each way to work. I always got the feeling that my brain wasn't being stimulated and therefore just shuts down.  I have the same problem when I'm watching movies.  I can watch about 15 minutes and then I pass out.  I'll wake up, rewind to where I left off before I fell asleep, watch 15 more minutes, pass out..and repeat.  My mom has the same problem watching movies and I never understood why she couldn't stay awake for a movie..well now I fully understand.  I don't understand what causes it..but I know why she's was always asleep.  She doesn't have the problem with driving though.  I get plenty of sleep but I never feel refreshed when I wake up. I'm a mail carrier, so I have a really physically demanding job..and the stress levels that come with working for the Post Office are those of about 20 people combined. I am in extremely good physical shape and get more than enough exercise daily. Like other people have said, I don't feel tired at all before I get in my car or as soon as I get out.  But as I'm driving, I end up getting extremely tired, eyes rolling back in my head, and passing out from feeling so tired.  Yesterday was the worst case of this that I've ever experienced.  I also have problems with sleep paralysis.  Well yesterday I ended up experiencing what it's like to have the sleep paralysis and falling asleep while driving combined. I started my trip to work yesterday morning and I was already falling asleep before I even made it up my street.  As I'm going down the highway, I catch myself trying to stop my eyes from rolling back in my head and keep them open.  I fell asleep several times. I then fell asleep and had a sleep paralysis episode where I became paralyzed and couldn't move. With sleep paralysis, your eyes can be closed but you see everything that is going on around you.  I also have the bad kind of sleep paralysis where I will start hallucinating.  When I hallucinate, whatever is the worst possible thing that could happen at that moment is what I will hallucinate is happening.  When this happened while driving, I couldn't move and I seen cars coming towards me and I was in the lane of oncoming traffic.  In reality, I WAS in the other lane, but there were no cars.  I didn't know if I was having a paralysis episode or if this was for real.  Either way, I knew that I was driving and that I had to get myself to move.  Making yourself move when you are in this paralyzed state is what will cause you to wake up.  I finally got myself to move and woke up out of that state.  I quickly got back in my lane and was extremely lucky there were no other cars coming.  On a normal day when I start to fall asleep while driving, I usually get such a huge adrenaline rush that it'll keep me awake for several minutes. I had the biggest adrenaline rush ever but I instantly fell back asleep.  It gets worse.  I was then driving home yesterday..and I instantly started falling asleep before I had even went a mile from work.  My head kept falling back and that would cause me to snap awake for a second.  I ended up passing out completely and have no idea how long I was out..but I woke up and the first thing I seen was that I was driving 110mph (55 miles faster than I was going).  I then look up at the road and see I'm in the oncoming traffic lane.  Luckily the closest car was about 1/2 mile away.  That was extremely scary but it didn't even keep me awake..I was right back asleep after it happened.  I have no idea how long I was asleep but it had to be for a good 10 seconds or more for me to get up to 110mph without pushing the pedal any harder than I had been.  After all of that, I decided it's time to get myself checked out. I have a Doctor appt tomorrow.  My family is thinking I have sleep apnea possibly.  When I have the sleep paralysis, I know for a fact that I'm not breathing the whole time.    
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Avatar_m_tn
While I like breathing exercises (people in general are too stressed to breathe properly), I have found that doing any breathing exercises during these episodes causes my symptoms (namely falling asleep) to happen more quickly because of the relaxation they bring.  Probably not the best advice for this post.
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Avatar_m_tn
Try kapalbhati as I have described in my post of July 25th, 2010.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have this problem. I am a 27 year old male. I have always gotten tired while driving but over the last 3-4 months it got real serious real fast. It seems like there is nothing I can do to help it. I have been in several accidents because of this and lucky to be alive. I have totaled 3 vehicles in the past few months due to this problem. My last accident was just 3 days ago in my new truck. This is the scariest thing I've ever been through. It comes out of nowhere, but if i stop and stretch i'm wide awake. I get back in the car and doze off again. One afternoon I kept dozing off and was trying to pull over but would fall write back to sleep before I could. I can't tell if I'm falling asleep or just blacking out. Also I've had someone, that was riding with me, tell me my eyes start to roll in the back of my head. I do not have health insurance and spent so much money on vehicles. Luckily no one else was involved in my accidents. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm also suffering from this problem during my trips to and from work. My one way trip is about fifty minutes. Today's morning I almost crashed into the highway divider. I found out that consuming Sun Flower Seeds during my trips completely stops this tendency. All other methods mentioned here I tried but to na avail. Good luck for all of us and may all of us be protected.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had this problem for many years I first noticed it after a trip to France and had gotten sick (somach flu), the next day it was my turn to drive and I ended up dosing off and almost going off a cliff. Scarry. At the time I thought is was just the sickness... anyway ever since then when I am in my car driving on a highway I seem to do mini doses. Today It happend on my way to work on a curve I did the dose and found my self in the next lane almost in the ditch between the sections of highway. I have got to figure out who to see about this.
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Avatar_n_tn
So I also have this problem which is why i came accross this site.  But during the research i have done today I would say that your particular story, cntrygirl, sounds like Narcolepsy...what with the sleep paralysys and other times falling asleep.  I hope it's not, for your sake.  

On another note...has anyone gotten any answers?  I am a paramedic and sometimes have to make long trips driving people that count on me to be saving their life not endangering it.  I am worried that someone will find out that i fall asleep behind the wheel no matter how much sleep i get, and i will lose the job i love.

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Avatar_m_tn
i fell asleep when driving anywhere, I sleep well. short long trips i fell asleep many times on one trip. I have notice that i started to snore , but when some one else is driving i'm awake . I'm scared one day something will happen to me and my family. So please help me
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Avatar_m_tn
Do this exercise while driving, to stay awake.
Kapalbhati - Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 60 times while driving. Not for pregnant women.  

The full set of exercises, described in my March 17, 2010 post, will help to reduce this sleepy problem over the long term and make you healthier.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 33 year old male, over-weight. I have had these problems off an on for my whole life. A friend used to call it "forgetting to breathe." But I have been pretty good for a long time now, it just started up real bad three days ago. I have a 50 minute commute, and every day now I am stuggling to stay concious after about 35 minutes. So far I've been able to maintain my lane, even when I've totally fallen asleep. Even when I startle myself awake with how close I am to wrecking, I still start to zone out again immediately. It's been three days and five trips (I'm at work now) and I'm really dreading my commutes because I feel like I'm gambling with my life each time. I don't have any other options, I can't lose my job, and I can't just no go to work. I've also noticed the facial sweating lately. Thought it was just my body reacting to the heavier uniform I put on just before leaving rather then the shorts and tshirts I'm used to.
The only thing I've been able to figure is my brain isn't getting enough oxygen. I've tried breathing more, but it doesn't seem to help. Every time I blink, my eyes go off in different directions giving me double vision. Shaking my head violently gives me about 5 seconds of clarity before things start going fuzzy again.
Also happens to me on airplanes and boats, anything with that low bass vibration.
If it is a blood preassure thing, would High-G Training do anything? Forcing the blood to your brain? I'm going to take off my shirt before I travel home to see if it is something where the collar is preassuring my neck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Do this exercise while driving, to stay awake.
Kapalbhati - Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 60 times while driving. Not for pregnant women.  
Do this exercise for 7 minutes,first thing in the morning, and before leaving work, as well.
You are expelling the old air in the lungs, and trying to get fresh air into lungs and brain.
Try it, and report back, so others may benefit.
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Its worth trying what hava has said.  I've given up driving very far so I don't even want to gamble.   I wish I had an answer for it.   None of my medical people have an answer.   My facial sweating thing seems to have subsided this year.  I don't know if the medicines I now take had an effect.  They also found I was very low on Vitamin D and too high on Vitamin B12 so maybe its solved because of getting my vitamin levels correct.    I was always afraid to bring it up to a medical person because they have the responsibility to report you to DMV and you could lose your licence.   Its a tricky Catch 22.    I hope you can solve the problem because remember that you aren't just risking your own life but the life of others on the road.   Thats why I've given up driving ....I'm ok on short distances around town.   If I have to go very far I just have someone drive me.   But,  you have to go to work.  Tricky situation.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I've had VERY good results with the High-G exercizes, which are similar to what hava was suggesting, but relying less on breathing and more on contracting muscles, but to the same effect. I've found that if I do it too quickly I can get dizzy. But if I do it too slowly I just get sleepy again. Above six second contractions work well for me. Think about when you lift something heavy, your face goes red. This is just doing that while sitting down. You are using your abdomen muscles like a second heart to pump blood to your head. Also, remember that this only works IF you are falling asleep due to lack of oxygen cause by a blood preassure drop. If you are just tired, it won't help (at least not for the same reasons).
Something else I've found that seems counter intuitive, and I wouldn't recommend experimenting with it. I've found that relaxing, even smiling a little and just trying to enjoy the ride actually makes my problem go away. The more anxious I am about getting to work, the worse it is.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank U for your inputs & sharing..it does make one feel  better to know that there are so many people having the same problem..will keep you guys updated on what my tests & the yoga exercises help. Meanwhile u guys take care & dont take a chance..just get out of the road & take a break or nap...cheers
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Avatar_f_tn
Funny you should say that, because at one time I too thought the problem might be caused by toxic fumes in the car. I got rid of that car!  But the issue continues in all the cars I've owned since.

I thought I was crazy but after finding this forum I see that I am not alone in this. I too have experienced all the same symptoms everyone is discussing here. I am female, over 45, active, normal healthy weight, and I do not have sleep apnea.  

After my last close call I am grateful to just be alive. Forced to drive home alone, I dozed off repeatedly on the hour-long drive, which culminated in the very loud horn of an 18-wheeler startling me back to conciousness -- just in time to avoid being creamed. Thank God that when I swerved into the next lane there wasn't a vehicle already in it. I prayed all the way home that I would not kill myself or anyone else. Amazingly, with only SIX BLOCKS to go and having just experienced the most frightening of close calls, I still dozed off 3 more times!!  Three times in the last 6 blocks -- and as others have said, no matter how hard I tried to fight it, windows open, radio blasting, etc... there is simply no way to stop your eyes from rolling back.  This is indescribably frightening -- probably impossible to fathom unless you have experienced it first hand.

No one seems to truly understand this the seriousness of this issue, even friends who claim to be understanding simply think you are lazy or expect to be chauffered everywhere. What a shame because this truly is a serious and life-threatening condition, no less dangerous than driving while intoxicated.  The only way to "prove" the existence of this condition would be to have a highway accident and then say, see?? Well I certainly won't do that.  Instead, I no longer drive to any destination more than 20-25 minutes away, and pay no mind to those who fail to understand why.

Other symptoms of note:  In the past I have been borderline anemic. I often experience swelling of the hands and feet, inexplicable swollen glands (with no other "cold" symptoms), sensitivity to light (sunglasses are a must, even in winter), and in particular FINGERTIPS turning white, numb, tingly and severely cold as if frozen. Based on this, my MD is now about to test me for LUPUS, an auto-immune deficiency which manifests itself in symptoms as I have mentioned, and EXTREME FATIGUE in particular. I suggest everyone experiencing these issues be checked for this.

Will keep you all posted. Meanwhile good luck, and drive safely.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 20 year old white female in fit condition. I have had the same symptoms of falling asleep while driving and I'm always well rested before driving as well. I'm really scared about this especically when I have my son in the car. My opinion is that it does have something to do with my blood flow and the position I'm in for that period of time. I'm going to be going to the doctors for further testing hopefully something will be found.
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387660_tn?1242600342
I discovered that this problem along with fatique came from a drug that I was prescribed.  Once we discovered that I was having reactions to this drug this problem along with many other problems went away.   If you are taking any medicines consider possible side effects from that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Try opening your window in the car and see if it helps you gain concentration.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi all

i see there are many people here that have the same thing. so here's' my 2 cents worth: ever since i can remember, i have always been found getting drowsy and more often than not, actually falling asleep in any car regardless of the music being played, the smells in the car, the amount of wind blowing into the car, kids in the car. in fact noisy kids in the car just make me grumpy cos i can't nap properly. it's such an extreme tiredness that i can't describe to any "normal" person out there. my boyfriend just keeps telling me have a strong mind, mind over matter but he fails to understand that it's actually the mind that shuts off so how can the mind then be strong? anyway, the sleepiness / drowsiness has also affected me at work more often than not, also around 3-4pm regardless of whether i have eaten or not. i have an office job so i am literally pinned to my desk all the time but i try my best to keep moving around to keep the blood flowing. my blood pressure (seated) has always been good though i've always had a normal to high pulse rate while seated. i am a regular blood donar as well so aneamia is no problem for me. i have also noticed that while lying down and getting tired my legs actually twitch uncontrollably. my mom had this and the doc told her it's from a pinched nerve in her leg. my dad has uncontrollable and extreme tiredness as well to the extent that he'll sleep after ANY meal, regardless of what it is when he ate or what he ate. he is an alcoholic so that may have something to do with his being tired after eating. i have come across the term NARCOLEPSY. have any of you been through this kind of testing or know about this condition? any comments welcome :)
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furthermore, i am not on any medication, apart from contraceptives and vitamins (B-complex).

i think this is the wrong place to post this but i'm going to try anyway. there is also another weird thing that happens when i try sleep. if i have to fall asleep well after i was supposed to, i have what i would like to call a concentration of energy if you will on the side that i am lying on at the time. between my rib cage and my hip bone. when that happens, my whole body basically goes paralyzed and it takes an enormous amount of energy for me to move just one finger or limb to get myself out of that "state". this only happens when i'm lying in bed and trying to fall asleep. it first started when i was still in junior (primary) school around the age of 7 or so and just on the one side. i would then turn over to the other side and it wouldn't happen again. years later it started happening on the other side as well and i couldn't turn over to prevent it from happening so i turned onto my tummy and this eventually sorted it out. again, after a few years, this happened even while i was on my tummy and i am now having to turn onto my back to prevent it from happening. i am convinced it doesn't happen when i'm on my back because of the spinal cord.

any ideas?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for making me feel normal again! I too have the same problem. My ex would get mad at me for falling asleep during movies. I have also fallen asleep during conversations and while listening to my patients during a 45 minute therapy session. I feel HORRIBLE! But I CAN'T stay awake no matter how hard I try! The driving issue makes me the most scared - as for today, I had my 2 kids in the back seat and we were only driving 45 minutes from one side of town to the other on the highway but I dozed several times, having some close calls. But this time seemed worse, especially with my kids in the car. I am very healthy, white, 30yrs old, no sleep disorders, exercise, etc.. I am not on any medications. I just dont know what causes this. I noticed a problem when I would fall asleep during lectures in high school then college. I started falling asleep during college when I would drive 2 1/2 hours back and forth to school. Now I can fall asleep within 20 minutes in regular traffic. It doesnt make sense. I know its getting worse. This is why I am now searching online for some answers. I will try that Kapalbhati breathing exercise next time. I just dont want to hurt myself, my kids or anyone else but I am a single mom and have to drive to function in life. Please keep posting any success  stories! Again, thanks for sharing and not making me feel alone on this issue!  
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Hi,

I have gone throught all the posts above and also other related thread in different sites. I have the same problem where I tend to sleep while driving. I have no other medical problems and also I take sleep for required 7-8 hours daily. However, when ever I am driving regardless of the time, I do fall asleep and this happens very often. I too have tried all the meethods of opening the windows, chewing gums, loud music, singing or talking to myself but none of these have worked for me. There have been time when I drove toward my destination in sleep while my subconcious mind taking control of the vehicle (thats what i believe) because I have never missed out on the way while driving if i am falling asleep. I dont fall asleep anywhere else and its only while driving that it happens. I am fond of driving so can not resist myself from controlling the wheels.

It's not that I fall asleep only while driving for long hours, I also fall asleep even while driving back home from work or may be  going for some meetings within the city.

Also, I would admit that this problem has been a cause of many minor accidents and two major accident but luckily i escaped unhurt all the time. However, I am always scared because now I married and driving with my family most of the times and I do not want to risk anyone's life because of this.

I need serious help on this, if anyone can please help.

Thanks
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1585980_tn?1296836246
the problem of all this is narcolepsy. it mostly starts between the age of 16 and 25.
It mostly gets worth as older you get.
Narcolepsy is known for the fact that you cant heal it.There are alot of people on this world with narcolepsy.
(Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder. It is not caused by mental illness or psychological problems. It is most likely affected by a number of genetic abnormalities that affect specific biologic factors in the brain, combined with an environmental trigger during the brain's development, such as a virus.(wikipedia))

your doctor wont find a problem with you ,stop waisting money for thousands of specialists.

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Avatar_m_tn
See my post of   Aug 26, 2010. Do it and respond back with how you find the techniques.
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Avatar_n_tn
Eating sunflower seeds will help with the drowsiness during driving. I too have the same problem and this is the only thing that will help me stay awake.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem (for about a year but really getting worse since the last two months). I'm 31 female, healthy 120lbs.I sleep 7-9 hours at night and almost never wakes up at night to use the restroom. In the morning I sometimes wake up very tired but after a few hours of relaxing I get ok. I fall asleep as soon as I start driving (within 5-10minutes). This  always hapen around 1:45pm-3pm on my way to work.  I've tried everything mentioned above but nothing works except coffee. I just started drinking coffee while driving just last week. I'm really  woried now because i'm starting to depend on it. I have a lil kid and i'm worried I might get into an accident one of these days.
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I forgot to add, I only fall asleep while driving and not anywhere else! I read a little about sleep apnea.. could it be caused by a deviated septum? I broke my nose when I was little, loooooong time ago. I don't even know if I have a deviated septum. And I never had this sleeping-while-driving problem till like last year! I don't believe that I snore but I've been told once that I do. Could I have sleep apnea?!!   I know it's not the car causing this because I often switch cars.
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Avatar_m_tn
Do this exercise while driving, to stay awake.
Kapalbhati - Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 60 times, every few minutes, while driving. Not for pregnant women.  

The full set of exercises, described in my March 17, 2010 post, will help to reduce this sleepy problem over the long term and make you healthier.
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Avatar_n_tn
How about road blindness, a form of inadvertant hypnosis?  I don't have any of the symptoms other people describe, and I don't "fall asleep" while driving at night or in bad weather.  Also my "dozing off" is more likely on highways than in the city or on small rural roads.  I break the hypnosis (if that's what it is) by pulling off the road and closing my eyes for 10 minutes or by stopping to buy gas or a small meal.  The phenomenon is not accompanied by any feeling of sleepiness, I just cannot keep my eyes open, and a blink may do me in.  Has anyone here heard of road blindness and know of a preventative?
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Avatar_m_tn
see a doctor get a full MOT stop guessing!!! and stop driving you may kill your selfs or others.
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terrified I will kill myself or someone else on the road. Began Nuvigil about a month ago. Helps driving to work, but when I am about 10 min from home my head gets fuzzy and I nod off. I stay fuzzy for a while when I get home and have absolutely no energy with extreme sense of fatigue..I did have a sleep study but do not know my results. I made an appt with my md for next week. I am not happy that I still have this issue. None of us should be driving if we are nodding off. Please see your doctor. I do believe there are physical reasons and medication that can control it. Just need to work with your md to find the problem and the right meds.
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I'm another dozer-while-driving person.  Have found that eating sparsely while on a trip helps as I noticed that the drowziness comes on about 30-45 minutes after I've eaten.  (I used to think that eating would give me energy to stay awake, but it seems to have the opposite effect for me!)
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I've had this same problem for years, can't drive for more than about 15 minutes without becoming extremely drowsy.  I also have had sleep paralysis a few times.  I also fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.  I am not sleep deprived.   My doc says I probably have narcolepsy, so she prescribed ritalin (a stimulant)  to take when driving longer distances.  It works like a charm!  If you have the testing for narcolepsy and it comes back positive, then I believe you lose your driver's license.  Since this would be terrible for me, I didn't do it.  But the ritalin (or any other stimulant probably) works so well, and I only have to take it occasionally, so problem solved for me!
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Hi,
I too have the same problem while driving mostly or when I am sitting in an prolonged meeting or when I concentrate on something or when I am in a relaxed position....................
Please advise me as 2 things are dangerous for me: 1. While driving  2:While sitting in a big meeting with CEOs and VPs

Thanks

Nicky Bangkok
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534785_tn?1329595808
Hey, that sounds like narcolepsy. You might want to have a sleep study done that includes an MSLT (nap study) to see if you are, indeed, narcoleptic.
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Not Narcalepsy,  I had a sleep study done a few years ago.   This post is old and I no longer fall asleep.  The answer was that it was a side reaction to some of the meds I was taking.   I now drive without any issues at all.
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I have also fallen asleep while driving. I start to dream, and somehow, that's what wakes me up. I'm surprised I haven't had an accident, because when the dream awakens me, I usually jump or jerk. I have also come close to hitting the shoulder, but awoke right before. I only drive for 30min to school one way, and 13min to work, one way. Once I get out on the highway, I start getting sleepy. But I also fall asleep at the drop of a hat while sitting in my chair at home. Whether I have it reclined or not, I fall asleep. I have also fallen asleep at the computer. Yet, I can never get myself to go to bed early. If I go to bed before midnight, I seem to wake all through the night. Therefore, I'm usually awake until at least 1, but as late as 3/3:30. The few times I get 7-9hrs sleep, I still fall asleep in a split second. It's scary, because I have a 3 1/2yo in the home. We'll be watching TV, or he'll be playing/reading books, and the next thing I know, I'm waking up. I have no control over it. One minute I feel fine, the next I feel so tired and I'm asleep before I realize what' happened. I also seem to go straight into REM sleep, because I may be asleep anywhere from 5-30min, once in awhile an hour, and in that time, I will dream. I have been told I snore, though I don't recall ever waking myself up from snoring. I also sleep with my mouth open. I am extremely hard to wake up in the a.m. and have slept through 3 alarms, one being on my phone, so it's pretty loud. I recall waking up fighting, literally, when my mom used to try and wake me to get ready for school. She would have to shake me most of the time to wake me up. I've slept through terrible storms and tornado whistles. I don't know if this is relevant, but sometimes I have such vivid dreams, that when I wake up, I have to think back to see if it really happened. Once I even walked through my house searching for something, because the dream seemed so real. I have also woken up crying, because in my dream, I was crying. I know that my mom caught me sleepwalking once when I was very young, 4 or 5, maybe. I have also woken up with a bruise on my hip, that wasn't there before, and that I hadn't injured while awake. There was nothing around my bed that I could have fallen on, except the floor.
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534785_tn?1329595808
You sound exactly like me! Except I've never fallen sleep while driving...but I will feel tired at times. Schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor and have an overnight sleep study (PSG) with a nap study (MSLT) done as soon as possible!!!

One morning, I woke up with a massive bruise on my thigh and I still have no idea how I could've gotten it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i too have had drozziness while driving for maybe 20 years, i shake my head (i dont know if this is healthy) but it clears my head. my ex-boyfriend  said i fell asleep all the time when i wasnt aware of it while driving and other situations. the sleep episodes have gotten worse im now seeing a neurologist i hope i find some answers. im glad im not alone!
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What is the medical term for this?
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Avatar_n_tn
Has anyone ever found the cause of the dozing off at the wheel? I have had the problem for twenty or more years and it has gotten worse every year to the point that I am afraid to drive across town. None of the possibilities I have read in the above comments apply to me except I do not know if I have an autoimmune disease.
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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure we all have the same thing. Here's my story:

My name's Jonathan. 23 YO. VERY healthy, train daily. Quite fit and muscular. Sleeping well, at least 7 hours a day. Unlike someone else who wrote here, I don't sleep with my mouth open. My cardiovascular health is superb (though I don't do much aerobics). I train at high intensities daily, and my resting pulse is 60BPM. Most of my training is related to martial arts and, probably because of that, my blood flow is also very good - no numbness whatsoever.

I will only get drowsy while driving, and usually on highways. Once this begins, it will only stop if I stop driving. As soon as I stop driving, I am no longer drowsy. This is no regular "sleepiness". My eyes literally force themselves to shut, and I have to fight them not to. This can occur thrice a week or once a month. It can occur after 10 minutes of driving or 3 hours. Nothing will stop it besides stopping the driving itself. It does not make any sense, and does not have any pattern.

The hypnosis theory sounds logical to me, but couldn't find any info about it. It's reasonable since the forceful closing of the eyes seems very much related to the act of driving. I'm writing this after having drove a total of 4 hours in three intervals over the day, with only the last 30 minutes giving me trouble (I drove these after a few minutes pause for dropping off my girlfriend). I went on to read about the issue on the web for over an hour right after the drive and had no trouble concentrating.

Also thought this might be related to my brain getting messed-up from all the rapidly moving objects, which could have something to do with either the hypnosis theory or vision (my vision is excellent, no glasses).

I read about Narcolepsy on Wikipedia, and I think it's unlikely that I have it. I don't suffer from cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, automatic behaviors or excessive daytime sleepiness.

HELP!!  :-S
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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure we all have the same thing. Here's my story:

My name's Jonathan. 23 YO. VERY healthy, train daily. Quite fit and muscular. Sleeping well, at least 7 hours a day. Unlike someone else who wrote here, I don't sleep with my mouth open. My cardiovascular health is superb (though I don't do much aerobics). I train at high intensities daily, and my resting pulse is 60BPM. Most of my training is related to martial arts and, probably because of that, my blood flow is also very good - no numbness whatsoever.

I will only get drowsy while driving, and usually on highways. Once this begins, it will only stop if I stop driving. As soon as I stop driving, I am no longer drowsy. This is no regular "sleepiness". My eyes literally force themselves to shut, and I have to fight them not to. This can occur thrice a week or once a month. It can occur after 10 minutes of driving or 3 hours. Nothing will stop it besides stopping the driving itself. It does not make any sense, and does not have any pattern.

The hypnosis theory sounds logical to me, but couldn't find any info about it. It's reasonable since the forceful closing of the eyes seems very much related to the act of driving. I'm writing this after having drove a total of 4 hours in three intervals over the day, with only the last 30 minutes giving me trouble (I drove these after a few minutes pause for dropping off my girlfriend). I went on to read about the issue on the web for over an hour right after the drive and had no trouble concentrating.

Also thought this might be related to my brain getting messed-up from all the rapidly moving objects, which could have something to do with either the hypnosis theory or vision (my vision is excellent, no glasses).

I read about Narcolepsy on Wikipedia, and I think it's unlikely that I have it. I don't suffer from cataplexy, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, automatic behaviors or excessive daytime sleepiness.

I suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, and my father has a (from hereditary) Hyperthyroidism. I do not, however, suffer from any symptom associated with Hyperthyroidism...


HELP!!  :-S
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Avatar_n_tn
I have checked with an ophthalmologist and this one at least insists their are no abnormalities of the eyes that can cause the drowsiness behind a wheel.
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Thank you for your reply on this. I have hypo thyroid and I didn't know it was the cause of my drowsieness while driving. I thought it had cleared up on its own, it came after pregnancy. Because I was no longer having trouble telling the difference between hot and cold, and I'm not as sleepy as I used to be. But when I'm driving I get so tired. I'm going to have it checked again.
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Avatar_m_tn
I almost cried while reading this board.  I've had this problem for a couple of months now- -on and off.  But this morning, it was so bad that I pulled over and set my phone to ring in 10 minutes.  I felt crazy, but seriously could not keep my eyes open.  After the 10 minutes of rest, I was good for another 20- but it started happening again.  I put on loud music and sang, opened my windows, slapped my cheeks.  It was like I was drugged and my eyes wanted to close.  I slept fine last night.  I am actually terrified of tomorrow morning's drive.  What is going on???
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Avatar_m_tn
I am also experiencing the same as you. As a young child, I always found myself falling asleep in the car whether it was a long or short drive. Now that I'm older, it still continues. I've gone to doctors and they ruled out narcolepsy, but left me really with no answer. I have 2 small kids that I drive home from their after school program around 5:30, and it's extremely scary because I can't keep my eyes open. When we arrive home, I never remember which road I took or how I even ended up home. I'm really scared and need answers. I've tried progivil and nugivil and neither one works
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Avatar_f_tn
Check out what you can find about driving fatigue. I have had this, even after I have had a full nights sleep. It first started when I was going to college and commuting  to school. I also have other sleep issues now, but at the time that the driving fatigue started, I believe I was doing fine
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Avatar_f_tn
Please read the post that I just posted to Billydude and respond. Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm also facing the same problem.Last year, i went to do a minor operation called 'sinus',but, doesn't improve,still the same.
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Avatar_m_tn
What works for me ... I am also prone to drowziness and micro sleeps while driving even in the morning and on short trips and through the years have had a number of near misses ... once in Western NSW I almost went head on into a semi trailer, then years later in England went off the road into a hedge one night narrowly missing a power pole...then later again I would repeatedly doze off in Perth on a 15min trip home after a 12hr shift in a factory where I worked for 18months( Slapping, Pinching myself, spraying myself with cold water, singing dancing in my seat!)   I am a 40 yr old guy and drive a lot now for work on country roads.  I have recently discovered that the No Doz caffeine tablets work wonders for me and wish I had discovered them earlier. Those big iced coffee drinks are also good and there is one with Double Shot  Guarana but these are very high in fat and sugar and price!  And what do you do in between Service Stations.  On reading the other posts perhaps this won't work for everybody.  Driving Tired is Deadly,  and kills more people than drink driving and is just as irresponsible in my opinion.  I now never go on a half hour plus drive without having these caffeine tablets in my top pocket.  
For those who don't respond to Caffeine like I do, I really hope you find a solution but till then Please Please Please continue to be careful on our roads. Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
My great uncle used to have a huge problem with falling asleep at the wheel (he even wrecked on several occasions). He ended up finding out that his problems were due to medicines he was taking for other health problems. Are you on any medications?
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My great uncle used to have a huge problem with falling asleep at the wheel (he even wrecked on several occasions). He ended up finding out that his problems were due to medicines he was taking for other health problems. Are you on any medications?
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534785_tn?1329595808
That's great to hear! I'm glad the problem was discovered and fixed.

For everyone else's sake, narcolepsy doesn't always show up in an MSLT, and it can take several MSLTs before it will rear its ugly head. This may be due to the progression of the disease (i.e. since it tends to worsen with time, the likelihood it appears in study results increases), or a person's physiology (i.e. there are varying degrees of the disease).

Falling asleep at the wheel can be due to any number of things, however, including medications, sleep disorders, other illness (like CFS), and sleep deprivation.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am very relieved I am not alone here. I Have all of the same tendancies and Normally my best Solution is to call someone when I start feeling tired, but recently that stopped working, it has gotten to a point where I fall asleep at stop lights or I have to  pull over to sleep on my way to my destination. I have driven off the road & even worse I have been into an accident because I fell asleep and hit someone at a red light. the damage was minor and no one got hurt but I was terrified. I have only ever done this while driving alone, not while anyone was a passanger.....Its an awful feeling not being able to control the sleepiness. I also tend to get hot and sweeaty not in my face but at times it has made me motion sick.
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Avatar_m_tn
i hit the other car first time in my life. I do not know, what happened, when i heard the sound and then relized i hit the car because i slept for few seconds.
I thought it is my age, brain deterioration. After google, i found it is not age.
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Avatar_m_tn
Follow this technique  while driving, to stay awake. This will expel the stale air from the lungs, and the brain will get more oxygen.
Kapalbhati pranayam  - Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 10 to 60 times, every few minutes, while driving. Not for pregnant women.  

The full set of exercises, described in my March 17, 2010 post, will help to reduce this sleepy problem over the long term and make you healthier.
January 11 ,2012
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I am 28 yr old female! 5'10" 160 lbs. I have two kids one is 6 months old. Married. Only when I'm driving or in a car do I feel like falling asleep. It doesn't happen rt away. Maybe 30 -45 into it. My eyes feel heavy n start to roll Bk. I have to blast my music or roll down my window but that doesn't seem to work too good. A few times I also had to call someone to keep me awake. I have coffee in the mornings to take my son to school hopeing that will keep me alert. But no! I have not totally fallin asleep. But I feel I'm pretty close. I'm worried about it now. N today when I woke up, my vision was off. U know the feeling after u spin around, when u try to walk, u wall at a slant? That's how my vision was this morning. It stayed this was for hrs so I didn't take my son to school. Afraid that something could go wrong n we could b in an accident. Also, my hair has been falling out more than usual if that was anything to do w it...idk?! I am getting insurance this weekend n will go c my doc. Will keep u guys updated. Hope u all feel well. Happy that I'm not a lot. But sad that this is going on w so many ppl. B safe!
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534785_tn?1329595808
If you're shedding a lot more hair than usual, it likely points to hypothyroidism. Be sure you mention this to your doctor so they can order the appropriate bloodwork. Hypothyroidism also causes brain fog and extreme fatigue, as well as low blood pressure, which can cause dizziness.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can sleep all night get up and drive two hrs later i start falling asleep yet being out of the truck i can stay up all day no problem. Have run test after test after test. Doc cant figure it out says maybe something with being in truck. It happens in my car too. What is this thing???
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Avatar_m_tn
all my grandma and siter ,brothers have died ,have cancer  as well as cousins died of tumors and momsside fibor both sisters severe grandpa died at 32 of cancer yet had almost same symphtoms. Changing the way you think--about yourself and your life---is essential to boosting self-esteem. Low self-esteem can negatively affect virtually every part of your life, including your health replace negative thoughts or inaccurate beliefs with more positive, realistic ones. Achieving a balanced, accurate view of yourself and accepting your value as a person can help you feel happier and more confident. Achieving healthy self-esteem you can over come this keep the faith. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with aloud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked who was cripple from his mother's womb. His Faith helped him so can your faith help you if you have faith. (Acts 14:8-10)
Faith worked for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am trying to find out how it is possible to actually drive from 1 location to another and not know it?  I was in an accident were I was leaving from a graduation got on the highway to go home and ended up in another city were I had the accident and can't remember anything after getting on the highway.  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am afflicted with this. I am going to call my doctor as soon as I am done with this. I never knew it was so common. It scares me because it isn't just my life, other drivers and passengers in my car. I don't fall asleep while being a passenger, just while driving. I get plenty of sleep, it happens on long or short trips and during any time of the day. I have noticed lately that I fall asleep while standing if I am up in the night. That has never happened before either. The sleep-driving started about 3 yrs ago. I am 32 now. Good physical shape. I did add a lil weight starting 3 yrs ago. I am just glad to see that I am not alone and that others have this problem also. Things that help me are talking on the phone is the best. The only other thing I have found is sucking lollipops. Cuz you have to move them around and it works for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had the falling-asleep-while-driving problem my entire life, and have tried everything over the years.  The only things that work are

  * DRINKING / SIPPING something.  I assume there is a strong animal instinct to not fall asleep while drinking & choke.  I keep my back seat stocked with several six-packs of gatorade at all times.

  * I just bought some SMELLING SALTS on amazon (about $4 for a 10-pack.)  Haven't tried them yet, but it seems like a effective last resort.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had an accident hitting a truck from behind few days ago while driving and fell into sleep. I suffered drowsy driving these few months which didn't happen to me before. I guess getting old and less exercise contribute to this. After the accident I got my own tips and would like to share and hear your feedback.

First, try to sit almost upright (don't slant too much), and keep your head in the slight nod down position (feel like your nose is pointing down) with your eyes looking straight. The point is not raise your head too much that your behind neck is in compress mode, in that way I will find it more easy to stay alert and my mind can keep active thinking and don't drowse off. Maybe like that we don't compress the nerve at our neck, which I don't sure of.

Secondly, after the position is correct, think something interesting or issue that you want to solve, that will keep you stay alert.

Thirdly, be alert about your breathing pace. If you start to feel sleepy, you may notice you breath slowly and you should increase your breathing to make you alert. Wind down the windows to get good fresh air.

Fourthly, try to sing something and concisely try to listen and perfect what you sing, that will make you alert, or try to sing with a radio in concisely mode. Try to much sunflower seed also will help.

Finally, if you find that you eyes keep closing down. Then you should try purposely open your eyes wide and big for few seconds and blink hard for short period. Hope this will break off the lazy eyes routine.

Those tips help me and the first one is my own thought.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yup. I have been suffering from drowsy driving for years. Seems like it is getting worse. Happens on 20 minute trips, or longer. Here is what helps me....
1. Audio Books: If I find the story interesting, this works great.
2. Conversations with passengers. I don't get sleepy as a passenger. Talking to passengers helps, talking to myself DOES NOT....in fact, I slip into day-dream state if I talk to myself.
3. Facial exercises: Make the facial expressions when saying the sounds for "EEEE" and "OHHHH" with exaggerated lip motions. Not sure why, might be something about concentrating on the motions.
4. Gluteus clinch. Work out your butt/hamstring muscles in a rhythm. Like Left/Left/Right/Right/Both-hold -- repeat. These are large muscles and tend to get blood flowing.

I'm 44, male, 5'10", 170, decent health, can fall asleep in under 60 seconds every night. Typically wake up tired, not ready to rise. Testosterone levels are around 350. Otherwise all other health measures are really good. I do not work out and sit behind a computer 8-10 hours per day as an engineer.
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Avatar_m_tn
You are not getting deep sleep, and are not fully rested when you get up.
Follow this technique twice a day, and you will notice your energy level improves in weeks.
Kapalbhati pranayam -(Do it before eating)
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.
April 19 ,2012
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Avatar_m_tn
OH MY GOD.... This is so my Daughter. I am so very SCARED for her,and too hoping to find some answer or help. She too has no insurance. I'm SCARED AS HELL I'm going to lose her. Like yourself she has tried every thing to keep her awake. The end result is so like yourself, calls me to keep her talking. There has even been times I've called her and that call woke her up veering into on coming traffic. PLEASE ANYONE HELP US. If you find out any thing would YOU PLEASE let me know. I will NOT GIVE UP searching for a solution. I will let you too know when I get answers. All my best to you. I now know shes not alone. Thanks for sharing.
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Avatar_m_tn
OH MY GOD.... This is so my Daughter. I am so very SCARED for her,and too hoping to find some answer or help. She too has no insurance. I'm SCARED AS HELL I'm going to lose her. Like yourself she has tried every thing to keep her awake. The end result is so like yourself, calls me to keep her talking. There has even been times I've called her and that call woke her up veering into on coming traffic. PLEASE ANYONE HELP US. If you find out any thing would YOU PLEASE let me know. I will NOT GIVE UP searching for a solution. I will let you too know when I get answers. All my best to you. I now know shes not alone. Thanks for sharing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a sleep-while-driving problem on long car journeys. I have found my own answer - caffein tablets (two at a time) plus energy drinks like Red Bull. I always carry both of these in the car. They always seem to work pretty quickly. Effect lasts more than an hour.
Symptoms of onset - difficulty focusing on traffic ahead, involuntary eye movements so vision becomes unstable, (moving up and down or side to side), a sense that sleep is only a few seconds away, inability to do anything about it by willpower alone or trying to distract myself eg radio, fresh air, shouting. Time for caffein and Red Bull. What a relief to know there is a solution to this very scary problem! (Hope it works for you).
clifford
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Avatar_m_tn
Sometimes when I drive I don't even remember how I got from one place to another.  Today I drove 1-1/2 hrs fighting falling asleep the whole way.  It doesn't happen all the time.  Sometimes I think it has to do with what I've eaten, but this time I can't think of anything that would have caused this since I was sleepy on the way there as well.  It is really scary!  I am beginning to be afraid to drive. I've had 3 sleep studies with the only finding as restless leg syndrome.  I do have chronic back problems and have been taking some aspirin the last few days.  I know I gain weight when I take aspirin or aleve.  Maybe it makes me drowsy too.  I am tired enough that if I were to sit still (as I do in the car) I would fall asleep.  I have stopped and slept a few minutes along the way.  I don't like this, but it is nice to know that I'm not alone.
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I'm nearly 50 and have been dealing with this my whole adult life.  When I was in college, I drove a taxi in the summer at a resort and would NEVER take a night shift because that's when it is worst.  Just three days ago when I was coming back from bringing my daughter to college, it happened over and over on the 100 mile drive.  I actually got lost somehow, in my own city, and have no idea how I got to where I was.  Things that have helped include avoiding high carbs.  They give me a boost for a few minutes but the crash is so huge.  I will bring pistachio nuts or beef jerkey to munch on along with a big unsweet tea.  The weirdest thing too is that if I pull over to sleep, I can't.  It's not a tired thing, it's like a trance or a hypnotic state.  Something else too, I fall asleep really quickly when I do lay down.  It's hard for me to sit on the sofa at night and watch TV because I doze right off (real sleep).  I usually read or play a word game before bed and usually last about 1-2 minutes before the book drops and I'm out.  The kids laugh because if I am tucking them in and laying beside them, I will fall asleep in the middle of a song or story.  I wonder why some researcher doesn't study this obvious phsiological issue.  Heck, they can "discover" it, cure it and name it after themselves!
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Avatar_f_tn
I experienced a frightening case of this both on Friday and again today on a big road trip with my kids in the rental car. It was terribly frightening! I don't remember having this so strongly and uncontrollably in our regular car. I'm beginning to think that the sleep problem in the rental car was caused by EMF: http://www.****.com/252/radiation-in-cars-practical-tips-on-how-to-minimize-it/

I do know that I have a sensitivity to other electronic devices, and especially wireless communication devices (although those symptoms are different). My hunch is that they are all related...
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you suffer from dyslexia or have you been checked for it and do you fall asleep when reading for a short while?
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Avatar_m_tn
I do have same issue of falling a sleep while driving for no reason.It almost makes me think this is some kind of hypnosis.
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Avatar_m_tn
I  have the same issue of falling a sleep while driving for no reason.It almost makes me think this is some kind of hypnosis.
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Avatar_f_tn
I struggle with the same things as a lot of people do in this forum. I am a 29 year old mostly healthy female with an hour commute to work. During that time I fall asleep several times per day, whether I have had enough sleep or not. The other day I found myself asleep, behind the wheel, stopped at a stop light.

My question is, does anyone think we could all be the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning in our vehicles perhaps? Tho my car is not old... I am considering this blood flow angle too... and like other people here the ONLY thing that has helped is talking on the phone while driving.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the exact same issues for the last 2 yrs its gotten worse. I recently was diagnosed with a thyroid issue. And with further concern for the safety of my kids, I have been looking into why I fall asleep while driving, I found out that it may be just that HYPOTHYRIOD.
The following is an article I found that led me to looking into treatment...


Low Thyroid Function - Hypothyroidism
Pat Elliott, ND

Common Symptoms:

Fatigue, falling asleep during the day, excessive need for sleep, difficult to awaken, sleepiness after eating
Weakness, lightheadedness
Low pulse rate (below 80), low body temperature
Muscle and joint aches and pains
Low tolerance for temperature fluctuations, easily chilled or overheated
Cold hands and/or feet, poor circulation, Raynaud's phenomenon (fingers turn white when exposed to cold)
Pale skin, pale lips
Depression, decreased joy in living, lethargy, apathy, poor memory, difficult concentration
Irritability, mood swings, nervousness and anxiety
Un-coordination, sluggishness or "laziness"
Easy weight gain, difficult weight loss
Swelling in feet, puffiness around eyes on awakening
Sugar and other food cravings, hypoglycemia symptoms (weakness, shakiness and/or irritability before meals)
Dry skin, itchy skin, hives, acne, coarse or rough skin, eczema, psoriasis
Decrease in or lack of sweating
Brittle and slow growing hair and nails, dry hair, hair loss, loss of lateral eyebrows
Recurring or prolonged infections including: sinusitis, bronchitis/pneumonia, ear infections, tonsillitis, boils, vaginitis, bladder and kidney infections, and prostatitis
Poor wound healing, tendency for bruising
Elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides in the blood, atherosclerosis, angina, heart attack, palpitations
High or very low blood pressure
Low libido, infertility, repeated miscarriage
Menstrual disturbances including: early or late starting age, painful periods, long or short cycles, irregular periods, heavy bleeding, bleeding lasting greater than 5 days, PMS, endometrial hyperplasia, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts
Constipation, indigestion, loss of appetite in the morning
Abnormal sensation in throat or upon swallowing
Hoarseness of voice
Allergies, asthma
Difficult breathing
Insomnia
Carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve entrapment symptoms (burning/tingling), hands or feet falling asleep
Migraine and other headaches
Poor hearing
Decline in health following a pregnancy
Family history of any of the above disorders

Diagnosis - Although cases of severe hypothyroidism can usually be diagnosed using standard laboratory testing of thyroid function, most mild and many moderate cases of hypothyroidism are only identified using clinical assessment of symptoms by a physician experienced in identifying patients with hidden hypothyroidism.  

Treatment - Recognition and proper daily treatment of low thyroid function using thyroid hormone replacement therapy will result in resolution of deficiency symptoms usually beginning within the first month of therapy and reaching a maximum at 6-12 months of treatment.  In most cases the therapy is continued for life.

Hypothyroidism Resources:

Thyroid Books:
Living Well with Hypothyroidism by Mary Shomon
Solved:  The Riddle of Illness by Stephen Langer, MD & James F Scheer
Hypothyroidism:  The Unsuspected Illness by Broda O. Barnes, MD & Lawrence Galton
The Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem, MD

Thyroid Websites:
thyroid.about.com
http://www.altsupportthyroid.org/index.php
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Avatar_f_tn
Billydude...I know you said you have resolved your issues, can you possibly tell us what medications you were taking that was causing your problems?  I too have the same symptoms and know it didn't start until the dr put me on paxil.  She insisted that it could not be the cause.  After me driving them nuts they switched me to pristiq.  I thought it had helped but all the symptoms are slowly coming back.  Just wondering if it has something to do with antidepressants in general....although this never happened when I was taking fluoxetine.
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Avatar_f_tn
This has happened to me on and off for years, but it has usually centered around a change in my depression medication (which has not happened lately).  I did (in December) have my 3rd cervical spine surgery, which still has not healed well.  4 weeks ago, I started having these "falling asleep behind the wheel" symptoms, but then I got sick and was out of work for a week, went back for 2 days but due to construction had to work from home the last 3 days of last week.  This week, I went back to work and it started all over again.  Monday, I was just exhausted and managed to make it home before I crashed on the sofa.  By Wednesday, I almost ran off the road 3 times (at least that's how many times I got honked at).  Yesterday, I was halfway home before I began falling out.  At least once, I woke up just in time to not eat the backend of the car in front of me.  I have no idea how I got home but, what I'm estimating to be about an hour after I got home, my son-in-law found me in my car completely passed out.  The car was still on and my foot was on the break pedal.  Thank God the car was in park.  What I found out was that it took him more than 15 minutes to rouse me.  He first tried calling my cell - which goes through the Bluetooth on my car and is so loud it would wake the dead (apparently not).  Then he said he came out to the car, opened the door and repeatedly called my name - louder each time.  He said it took a good 2-3 minutes of shaking me before I began to respond at all.  When I "came to" I was shaking so violently it took another 5 minutes or more before I could get out of the car.  When I did, I managed to make it upstairs and fell onto my bed, where I immediately passed out again for another 2 1/2 hours.  I have been an insomniac for more than 15 years, and take meds for that so I'm adjusted enough to know that isn't the problem.  I have lost a tremendous amount of weight because I changed my diet and am eating healthier and that has not affected me - except to give me MORE energy.  I do a fairly physical job, but nothing like lifting 50lbs all day.  Since the surgery I'm not back up to my usual work standards, but that is not unusual.  As tired as I have been, I have never experienced what I experienced yesterday and after seeing my surgeon today I have been "grounded" and am not allowed to drive (which means I also can't go to work) until this can be solved.  He's ordered blood work and a trip to my regular physician.  All I know is I'm frustrated and terrified.  I'm just glad to see I'm not alone.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's not Narcolepsy.  I think he suffers from Harlequin Syndrome.  Half my face turns red and I too have abnormal sweating.  He could also have that with Horner's Syndrome or Holmes- Adie Syndrome.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you!!!!! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I am curious, Did you end up having the vasovagal syncope? Did they give you anything to help you with it? I have the same symptoms and it scares me.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same issue. It does feels so much like i'm in a trans. My eyes are usually open when this happens but It's hard to shake off the sleepy feeling. Like I am trapped in this trans. Idk what it could be but it scares me. I hope they figure it out too. I was wondering if it had anything to do with being a diabetic, because I remember years back I was driving and I saw this man rearend this old lady, I got out of my car fuming mad,I didn't realize that he had some kind of diabetic issue and that that was why he had hit her. I was just worried that he had hit the poor lil old lady. When the police came to write the accident up,it came out somehow that he had diabetes. Just a thought. He was wide awake too,and he did look like he was in a trans, I thought he must have been on drugs or something. Now I realize you don't have to be on drugs that there is other underlying conditions that can cause you to zone out or fall asleep at the wheel.
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Avatar_m_tn
That's what is was for me.  CO poisoning (carbon monoxide).

I realized this when I rented a car while on a business trip and
wasn't getting tired after driving for 3 hours.

My car's converter was slowly getting blocked up.  It's gone now
(not the converter, the ENTIRE car :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I too have this problem. I have been falling asleep in the car as a passenger since I was a child, and now as an adult, it happens constantly, whether I'm a passenger or the driver. I've tried everything, from loud music, windows and top down, slapping my face, yelling and dancing around, snacking and drinking a cold beverage, and finally calling someone to chat and keep me awake. Just today, it got so bad, I decided to pour cold water down my shirt with the ac blasting. I need some answers and some help so I don't do this anymore. I hate the thought of me risking my life, a stranger's life, or worst of all, the lives of my 2 young children.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm in the group that feels like it's a trance or hypnotic state, and I've heard that when driving at highway speeds around 55-60 MPH the highway lines can, in fact, have a hypnotic effect.  I've never actually fallen asleep, but sometimes feel like I'm about to. My arms will sometimes also get very tense when this feeling comes on.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi all,
I came across this forum while I was looking for answers to the same problem I had. I couldnt keep my eyes open while driving to work (30-35 mins on hwy). This was irrespective of whether I had a good night's sleep or not. I am happy to report that my problem is solved. (at least 2 weeks - so far)

Vit D deficiency causes day time sleepiness and fatigue. There are many articles on the internet about this:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201301/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-daytime-sleepiness

I was taking Vitamin D supplements in winter. I stopped it as it was summer. But that was the culprit. I went back on the supplement and for two weeks, I havent had drowsiness while driving. Never used to have this issue before until this summer, but I guess the Vit D deficiency may have been getting worse. Ask your doctor to check your Vit D levels!

Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
I honestly thought I has serious issues. Well we obv all have the same serious issue haha but I'm glad I'm not alone.

Not sure when exactly this all started but I've always been able to function off of 2-4 hours of sleep EVERYNIGHT and be fine. I'm 21/female healthy and active 5'4" 128lbs excercise almost daily. It's been about over a year now that I realized I fall asleep faster while driving than in my own comfy bed. I don't have trouble falling asleep in bed at night at all. I do not take any medications. I use to drive to the casino (a couple years ago age 19) and back often and pull all nighters and remember SOMETIMES falling asleep at the wheel but that was because I pulled an all nighter and the drive was about 1.5-2 hrs. Now for the past year/year and a half I've noticed that a simple 20min ride would put me to sleep. I've tried the loud music, ac blast, windows down, calling people, pinching/slapping myself, switching lanes constantly but nothing would work I would still be dozing off UNTIL I realize I am getting too close to the car in front of me/ when i swerving into other lanes then I wake up.

Recently I left my first job to go to my second job and was falling asleep after being on the road for 15mins I decided to call my mom to chat and I told her what was happening and as I was talking to her and listening to her I was still falling asleep and woke up when I realized I was about to rear end a person on the highway in the far left lane (the fast lane).

I could be well rested (6-8hrs of sleep) get into the car feeling like I could run 5miles and drive for 20 mins and start dozing off.

This happens at any time of the day or night. It could be a beautiful sunny day like others have mentioned and I'd stil doze off with the sun shining brightly in my face.

I don't watch tv either (don't have the time and not home long enough to watch tv) but when I watched movies in the theatre in the past I would always fall asleep and slightly snore and the person I'd be with would realize I'm fast asleep haha

have not gone to the doctors for this yet but I am considering it
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Avatar_f_tn
I know what your going through I also have the same problem . Ususally  within a half hr. I am fighting to stay awake and have had a few close calls..I pull over now and take a 5 min. break,then on my way again.It doesn't mean it has stopped..within a half hr. it will creep up on me again and it is worse when it is sunny out. So far there is no explanation why this happens and I have had numerous tests done . This only happens when I am driving.
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Avatar_m_tn
I sympathize with your situation. It sounds much like me. I have only found one thing that is helpful other than pulling over and doing 5 minutes or so of Transcendental Meditation, which actually revives me for several hours. However, I am time bound in my driving and can't usually afford to stop even though I should just quit driving. What does help, though, is pain. If I feel myself nodding off I grab a soft piece of skin or muscle and drive one of my finger nails in for a hard long pinch. Usually, I do it on my thigh or behind my knee, so I have my driving arm free. That along with actively telling my brain to stay awake, that I know what you're up too, helps me stay awake for up to an hour of driving. I don't recommend it for everyone, but it works for me...especially the meditation when I can get off the road. It's amazing.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello everyone, I am 48 yrs old and have been fighting this problem since I started driving. I now take prescription drugs for ADHD when I drive to keep me alive, I fight sleep after 15 minutes of driving, if I switch with my girlfriend I am wide awake in passenger seat. It really pisses me off. I have been tested for sleep apnea, mild. Neurological tests all normal. I have quit looking for the answer and just take my meds, however, after taking meds for some time they no longer work as well, and now the doctors say the rules have changed and I need to be evaluated before refilling, this is a problem. I drive 3 hours a day commute, if I don't have any meds after reevaluation I am going to wreck my car and possibly hurt someone or die, I have a really good paying job and there is no poss of this closer to my home and I cannot just move, what will happen, don't know.
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flipper336
Chandler, AZ
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skydnsr