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Sleep/Wake Patterns( i think )

  My trouble started when I had a motorcyle accident a few years ago. I suffered a head injury
   from my accident and was in coma for 3 days.  I don't sleep well.  I sleep for long periods of
   time and find it hard to wake up even though I am a light sleeper. When I fall asleep, I sleep
  10 to maybe 15 hours at a time.  I barely wake up to get to work at 5am and fall asleep as
  soon as I come home at 5:30pm.  I feel as if I don't have time to do anything. I have had a
  sleep study done, but with no luck. They told me there is nothing wrong with me.  I think they are wrong.  
  I have taken medication and the medication doesn't seem to help either.  I'm not really sure
  what the problem is.  It is effecting me tremendously.  Can you help me?   Thank You.
Dear Dave,
There have been reports of prior head trauma causing a syndrome of narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness characterized by frequent day sleep attacks, sleep paralysis, insomnia to name a few of the symptoms). The anatomical and pathological basis is uncertain. However, there are specific abnormalities seen on sleep testing in this syndrome.  In your situation, with a history of a normal sleep study, this is unlikely.  A normal sleep study is reassuring and rules out several other sleep disorders.  Occasionaly some medical problems, such as problems with thyroid function or blood glucose levels  cause difficulty with sleep  patterns.  Depression can also play a role in some patients. If not already completed, you may want to discuss checking some general blood work and thryoid function studies with your doctor.  Attempt to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Simple measures such as avoiding caffine and stimulation (e.g. television etc.) around bedtime may also help.  If ever you are intersted in getting an evaluation at CCF call 1-800-CCF-CARE.  Good Luck.

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