Sleep Disorders/I'm always tired



I'm a 16 year old girl who's had this problem for a very long time. If it's any help, I'm 5'3 and weigh around 135, give or take a couple of pounds.

When I was younger (starting 11 years old, I believe), I had to go to the hospital because my menstruation was out of control. My period went on for a whole month, and I was bleeding heavily on top of that. I was hospitalized for about two days and came back home with about six different bottles of pills. Every day, I would have to take 1 or 2 pills from EACH bottle to treat my condition. Many of these pills were very strong, including the birth control, and they rendered me absolutely exhausted. Some gave nausea, but the majority of them shared one main side effect: Drowsiness. Due to this, I would fall asleep a lot.

I'm now in grade eleven and facing a problem that's really affecting my daily life: I cannot seem to stay awake after school. After seven hours of school, I come home and sleep for as much as 4 hours at a time (I get plenty of rest at night, before school, so I don't understand why this happens). This affects my daily life because I never have time for family, I forget to execute plans I made, and school work ends up being done at night. I can't seem to keep myself awake. Even when I get the required hours of sleep, I can't physically come to keeping myself awake. It's one of the hardest things to do. I thought Melatonin would be the answer, so I tried it out. It didn't work. I recently purchased caffeine pills. They're not working. I've gone as far as ingesting the caffeine pills WITH some coffeeŚno effect. I've literally fell asleep right through that.

During the weekends, I will sleep for as much as 11 hours and still be tired. I once slept for 11 hours on the weekend, woke up, exhausted, only to go back to bed after three hours (I had slept for about 3-3 1/2 hours during that). If I wake up early, I'm tired all day. If I wake up late, I'm still tired. I've never felt energized waking up.

I'm wondering if this tiredness is caused by all those pills I had taken as a kid. Did my body get used to all the tiredness due to that? How can I fix it? Is exercise the answer? Even if I sleep within the required hours a 16-year old teenager should be getting, I'm absolutely exhausted.

Also, if it's any help, I was on birth control pills since I was about 11 for my period (switched from pills to patches) and recently stopped taking it, a couple of months ago, to see how I go without them.

Thank you in advance.

Hi,  first of all melantonin is to make you sleep,not stay awake.  Next I suggest you show this to your parents.  Go to your md and get basic blood and urine test to rule out any mono, or anemia, or thyroid trouble. If that checks out, you must get a polysonigram at a sleep disorders clinic . Your local hospital can refer you.  Its totally painless, you simply wear little wires on your head, which then monitor your sleep throughout the night, and questions the next day.  I suspect you might be suffering from narcolepsy which is a sleep disorder which a person falls asleep at inappropriate times.  Narcolepsy starts to effect people in their teens and many will find them unable to stay awake at school.  Though many people ignore it, it is ones like yourself, if you have this,  that can get the proper diagnosis and medications needed to control the illness.  Go to Narcolepsy where you can find information on the iillness.  But first see your md to rule out the easiest thing.  Also go to Y.A.W.N.  young americans with narcolepsy.  feel free to email again  Karel.RT  

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Karel Sleis


all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms


i have narcolepsy since age l6

past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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