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Why am I so tired all the time?
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Why am I so tired all the time?

I'm tired all the time. Except when I was a small child, I've pretty much always had this problem. It probably started in my early teenage years, and I'm now 21.

I sleep a lot, and have extreme difficulty waking up. At times I have insomnia, too, but the sleepiness is worse. I probably sleep 9-12 hours most nights. I aim for 8 1/2 or 9, but often my alarm doesn't wake me up and I sleep for 12. Then, after sleeping 9-12 hours a night, sometimes I can't stay awake for the whole day and end up taking a nap too. I can't figure out what's wrong.

I've been tested for hypothyroidism, but my results came back normal.

I have anemia, but it's due to carrying the trait for beta thalassemia, so I can't really fix it.

I'm going to the doctor soon to try to get a sleep study done, but none of the sleep disorders seem to fit. I don't fall asleep randomly like a narcoleptic, and I don't snore and I'm not overweight so I probably don't have sleep apnea.

Anybody have a clue what's wrong with me?
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1707167_tn?1307811139
I know this probably sounds funny but I'm so glad I found your question. My sleeping problems are a lot like yours. I don't usually have insomnia but as it happens I'm writing this a 3:37 in the a.m. I had 2 sleep studies done the second study showed I had sleep apnea however when I asked if it was constrictive the dr said it was because I stop breathing. The odd thing to me is I know for a fact I hold my breath (like I'm going underwater) but my throat doesn't close and I don't snore. To me it's something completely different and the gazillion dollar bi-pap machine did nothing but keep me awake. I have been a sleeper all my life and I don't mean I like to sleep in on Sunday. I can sleep for days at a time. I didn't know what was wrong at the time all I knew was a) my life revolved around my need to sleep and b) if I didn't get it fixed soon I was going to loose my job and possibly my husband. Around this time I started to see a therapist. I was very depressed (which is what every dr blamed my tiredness on) one day to the point of planning out my own death. My therapist was very concerned and called my general physician. He got an appointment set up with a psychiatrist for me. I had never seen a psych but he looked at me, asked me some questions then told me what he thought might be wrong. He said I was type 2 Bipolar (What!!!!!). I asked him to explain it to me because I didn't have "manic" periods. All I did was sleep. He told me that with the type of BP I have my "manic" periods are when I'm functioning at what I would consider normal. Normal being that I go to work, clean my house, etc. My "down" phase is when all I can or want to do is sleep. So, anyway, the psych put me on an antidepressantal, a stimulant and a couple other thing. I am not even kidding the next day I woke up around seven and was awake THE WHOLE DAY. My husband got up and found me in the living room and asked me what I was doing up so early. I was, like, I don't know but I like it! Since then I've done well. I do still have times that I just need to sleep and I'll sleep all of one day on the weekend. I cannot tell you how much better I feel. I still have my days but all in all I'm doing well. I really hope I've helped you in some way. I know how it is when you know something is wrong but no one can seem to help. Best of luck to you. Take care...
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1707167_tn?1307811139
I know this probably sounds funny but I'm so glad I found your question. My sleeping problems are a lot like yours. I don't usually have insomnia but as it happens I'm writing this a 3:37 in the a.m. I had 2 sleep studies done the second study showed I had sleep apnea however when I asked if it was constrictive the dr said it was because I stop breathing. The odd thing to me is I know for a fact I hold my breath (like I'm going underwater) but my throat doesn't close and I don't snore. To me it's something completely different and the gazillion dollar bi-pap machine did nothing but keep me awake. I have been a sleeper all my life and I don't mean I like to sleep in on Sunday. I can sleep for days at a time. I didn't know what was wrong at the time all I knew was a) my life revolved around my need to sleep and b) if I didn't get it fixed soon I was going to loose my job and possibly my husband. Around this time I started to see a therapist. I was very depressed (which is what every dr blamed my tiredness on) one day to the point of planning out my own death. My therapist was very concerned and called my general physician. He got an appointment set up with a psychiatrist for me. I had never seen a psych but he looked at me, asked me some questions then told me what he thought might be wrong. He said I was type 2 Bipolar (What!!!!!). I asked him to explain it to me because I didn't have "manic" periods. All I did was sleep. He told me that with the type of BP I have my "manic" periods are when I'm functioning at what I would consider normal. Normal being that I go to work, clean my house, etc. My "down" phase is when all I can or want to do is sleep. So, anyway, the psych put me on an antidepressantal, a stimulant and a couple other thing. I am not even kidding the next day I woke up around seven and was awake THE WHOLE DAY. My husband got up and found me in the living room and asked me what I was doing up so early. I was, like, I don't know but I like it! Since then I've done well. I do still have times that I just need to sleep and I'll sleep all of one day on the weekend. I cannot tell you how much better I feel. I still have my days but all in all I'm doing well. I really hope I've helped you in some way. I know how it is when you know something is wrong but no one can seem to help. Best of luck to you. Take care...
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Excessive daytime sleepiness can be due to inadequate sleep at night due to sleep disorders. These disorders can be like obstructive sleep apnea, wherein during sleep there is an obstruction to air flow due to laxity of the throat muscles during sleep and this could cause disturbed sleep. Hence for therapy CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is used to keep it patent. Another cause could be an entity called restless leg syndrome, where there is an odd sensation in the legs during sleep causing the individual to move, which relieves the sensation. These disorders can cause inadequate sleep leading to fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Excessive sleepiness can also a symptom of Narcolepsy. A sleep study can help identify these disorders.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
@Paderla: Thanks. I do have an appointment and am definitely going to look into a sleep study.

@Shortcake: So do you think the sleep apnea was a misdiagnosis? I didn't know bipolar could cause fatigue either. I might talk to my doctor about that, but I don't feel like I have any manic episodes, or even very many times where I can function normally.

It sounds like you are doing a lot better than before, and I hope I can get to that place, whether we have the same cause for our fatigue or not. I also am scared that I'm going to lose my job...although since I'm still young and live with my parents it won't be too disastrous. I won't be homeless or anything, just broke. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. It's good to hear success stories from people who went through similar things as me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi seem to have to same tiredness all the time and have suffered for years they said it was depression but the pills didnt make a difference.. When I am awake I feel tired and lazy and just want to sleep again??
Did you find out what the problem is....???
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Avatar_f_tn
I didn't, but I have an idea. I suspect it might be Celiac disease, so I got tested last week. I haven't gotten the results back yet, but it is known to cause fatigue issues, as well as digestive issues (which I also have but thought were unrelated).

Other causes that might help you and are worth getting tested for:
Hypothyroid
Anemia
Sleep Apnea
Narcolepsy
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Lyme Disease.

There are probably others, but those are the ones I can think of that cause fatigue.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problem, have lost multiple jobs, have done over 5 sleep studies, and have been tested many times for celiac disease, thyroid problems, and more. I have even gone through a course of neurological testing (MRI, nerve endings test, and more). I was always told my sleep would even out when I finished school and had a more regular schedule, but I am almost 40 and that never happened. All the doctors, specialists, and tests over the years, and all they  can tell me is I have an unknown sleep disorder that results in hypersomnia. Right now I take an antidepressant, Ambien at night, and Nuvigil in the morning and it is the closest to normal I have been, but I still can't keep a normal schedule.
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Avatar_f_tn
Surprisingly, though, I have never met anyone else that is such a close match to my symptoms/problem ... So I would love to hear what you find out and/or are told. :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your reply I went to the doctors and had blood tests they said my throroid is fine and there's nothing else they can do....
I don't know what the next step is he said some people are more tired than others but most days I can barley function.... I'm in bed by 8 and can sleep all day surley it's not right I sleep so much I try my best to hold down a job but struggle to get out of bed I just wish I was full if energy but this tiredness is not right surley it's not there just be something wrong with me... It seems the only time I feel full of energy is if I go out on a weekend a get drunk.... Why can't I be like this all the time....
I want to be focused and have energy but my body has other ideas
Does anyone have any ideas of what my next step should be.... Would love a normal life and be able to wake up in the morning and not want to just sleep....
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to say I am 32 and have suffered this since my teenage years...
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Avatar_n_tn
Im so relieved to read about others like myself. My sleepless crept on in my early 20s and at 33 still no answer and is at its peak. Doctors dont take it seriously and my sleep study only showed mild narrowing of airways, unlikely to cause any issues. I do have a chronic mental illness but when i am fairly well the sleepiness and fatigue persist.
Keen to keep an eye on this post for any more ideas.
Thanks guys.
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