For a few years now I have had issues, mostly while driving, but more recently just sitting around the house with being extremely sleepy and falling asleep. My wife is constantly worried for me when I am driving to work and I have resorted to some drastic measures to keep myself awake while driving specifically. While drivingwhen I recognize that I am starting to get sleepy I usually try and keep moving as much as I can (usually to no avail), eat and drink stuff to keep myself preoccupied, try and raise my heart rate by tensing my entire body for short periods of time, and even resort to hitting and slapping myself in some instances. I am amazed that I have not been in any accidents that involved damage to property to people, but I have ended up in the ditch a couple times because of this issue.
I have done the usual Google searches and so far the only things that seem to make sense are early stages of narcolepsy or some sort of circulation issue. I am making an appointment with my general physician this week to try and find out more, but I am wondering if anyone else out there has experienced similar circumstances and have any suggestion s on how to proceed. I do not want to try drugs and see if they work, and have been debating requesting a sleep study, but do not know if it is necessary or not, and probably will want a more specialized physician to give me a diagnosis as general physicians have a base knowledge of everything with specialization in very little.
Any advice or suggestions are appreciated as I want my wife and kids to have peace of mind.