fxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7475 posts, RR: 78 Posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2458 times:
I can be completely awake and functioning and 5 minutes behind the wheel of my car has be nodding back and forth and fighting the urge to doze off. The other night coming home from the airport was pretty bad and I was forced to pull over for a cup of coffee before continuing on my way. Anyone else have this problem? Think the doctor would laugh at me if I gave her a visit?
Yep. I have this wonderful disorder called narcolepsy which got me in all kinds trouble before I learned how to live with it. Now, knowing my limits, it's much easier. Driving, especially long distances, is still a huge problem and I avoid it as much as I can.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14968 posts, RR: 61
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2382 times:
I fell asleep behind the wheel of my car just three days ago on my way back home from the airport. Fortunately all I damaged was one of the black and white plastic poles on the side of the road. Afterwards I was so full of adrenaline that I couldn´t sleep when I reached home. A night shift took quite a bit longer than planned and I didn´t sleep well during the day before.
Other brands probably have their own patient information - this is just the brand I have used for 12+ years.
Take some time to read about the condition and also take the test. Your doctor will probably give you the same test in order to get insurance to pay for the sleep study so don't try to lower your responses to make you look good.
In terms of talking to the doctor, telling her you are falling asleep at the wheel should be a good indicator that you need a sleep study to accurately diagnose your condition. Those sleep studies, BTW, are pretty precise in identifying you problems.
In terms of treatments, PM me and I'll go over what equipment I use for sleep apnea.
EasternSon From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 672 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2368 times:
I have a similar reaction, though I don't have a problem when I'm actually driving.
If I'm in a moving vehicle and I'm not controlling it, I immediately get very drowsy.
It comes in handy for long trips in the car or on an airplane. But, it happens on any trip longer than about 20 minutes. That means I get out of the car after a quick trip anyway feeling very tired and groggy.
The best way to keep yourself awake if you're afraid of falling asleep at the wheel, is to get very angry. Make believe that the guy in front of you just cut you off. Curse a blue streak at him - out loud. Or, simply think about something that gets your blood boiling. The urge to nod off will go away.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
ogre727 From UK - England, joined Feb 2005, 744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2323 times:
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 2): Yep. I have this wonderful disorder called narcolepsy which got me in all kinds trouble before I learned how to live with it. Now, knowing my limits, it's much easier. Driving, especially long distances, is still a huge problem and I avoid it as much as I can.
I am sorry to hear this... can you tell us a little bit more about your disorder? some people will say that it is not related to the thread but I think it is...
like what were your symptoms, how do you deal with it? is the movie depiction of the disorder at all accurate? (this is a dumb question, but whatever).
KPHXFlyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2321 times:
Quoting mirrodie (Reply 8):
I'l echo the above. Get a sleep study before you injure yourself.
Yes, I agree with the above posters. No doctor will think this is funny.
There is an astounding number of unreported/undiagnosed sleeping disorders out there. I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea a few months ago and I can definitely tell a quality improvement in my health as a result of CPAP therapy.
san747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5011 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2321 times:
I lost my Subaru last April because I feel asleep for only 4 seconds behind the wheel. I had (and still to a small degree) have a problem with microsleeps when I drive. If you've ever driven and feel like you've lost focus for a few seconds or can't remember the last second or two, that is a microsleep and it is EXTREMELY dangerous.
You're doing the right thing by pulling over when you notice such feelings (I had never drank an energy drink in my entire life before this started happening about 3 years ago), but definitely get it looked at if it persists.
Echoing the others, no, not at all. I fell asleep at the wheel once. Was awoken by the lane markers, luckily. Scary.
It was due to simply starting out too late for the drive, but yours seems to happen regularly, so I'd get it checked out. It may simply be something due to the frequency of time zone changes you go through in your job. There are meds out there like Provigil that help to regulate body clocks really well. I wouldn't worry about it being anything too serious yet.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 22775 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2281 times:
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6): 'll assume that the problem isn't with the car - like a leak in the exhaust system.
When the problem is with you then it's rather important to get it checked out, probably with a sleep study.
You should still get the car looked at. One of two things is going on here:
A) Something in the car is making you fall asleep, and Ken is right that it's probably something to do with the exhaust system. Obviously, that needs to be fixed - not only is it dangerous to be lulled to sleep while driving, but breathing that stuff isn't good for your health in general. Carbon monoxide is odorless, so just because you can't smell anything doesn't mean that there isn't a problem.
B) Something is up with you that needs to be diagnosed.
I'd look at both. A leak check on the car shouldn't be too expensive.
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airkas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 4431 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2261 times:
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I have the same. I often drive ~200km back to my old city to meet up with friends and when I'm already a little tired I lose focus and that's my cue to take a small break. In the past I've had a small accident concerning this (being very tired, warm outside and the sun shining in my face), so I know how dangerous it can be.
Usually I just pull over at a gas station, maybe take a quick 10 mins (it's happened..) and buy something to drink. After that I'm almost always fine again. It has happened that I had to pull over 2 or 3 times though.
Airportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 4030 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2258 times:
I once had this problem...
Turned out it wasnt me. Had a hole in the exhaust pipe, and when I was driving carbon monoxide (or something?) would slowly seep into the car and put me 3/4 of the way to sleep. By opening the window, I would unknowingly freshen the air and wake up slowly. Took 3 weeks to figure this out, and when I did the problem went away
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 9211 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2227 times:
Quoting fxramper (Reply 13): I have never had serious issues with sleep in bed. It's always happening in the car.
The problem with a lot of sleep problems is that you really don't know you have it - you're sleeping. I have OSA and the wife sure noticed - the first morning after going on pap treatment I woke feeling great and the wife told me I was going to use the cpap, or move half a mile away as she had just had her best night sleep in years.
Congrats on the appointment.
Hope you get a chance to do some reading on potential problems. Besides the link I gave above you can also Google Sleep Disorders for a long list of links.
L410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5922 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2218 times:
Quoting ogre727 (Reply 9): like what were your symptoms, how do you deal with it? is the movie depiction of the disorder at all accurate? (this is a dumb question, but whatever)
I am not sure what "movie depiction" you are referring. My case is still quite bearable, it is annoying, limiting in certain areas but it still allows me to function relatively normally.
Symptoms? It started in late teens with excessive sleepiness. I could sleep 12 hours straight and wake up dead tired and having problems to stay awake during the day as well. Falling asleep on the bus, missing my station and ending up on other end of the city was almost a daily occurence. I had major problems finishing university as sitting over the books was a even bigger problem than it is for everyone else. I suffered from cataplexy, sleep paralysis etc. but these were only mild cases. Last 5-8 or so years the disorder went through some progression or rather change and from sleeping too much during nighttime I have now problem getting any quality sleep. No matter how tired I am I wake up at 2 am, then at 3, at 4, at 5 and so on. Therefore the periods of the deep sleep when the brain really gets rest are short and sporadic. Daytime sleepiness is still the same.
How do I deal with it? At this moment purely by adjusting my daily schedule. In the beggining I tried Ritaline and later on Provigil which was supposed to be almost a miracle cure but no miracle took in my case so I dropped it as I have only one liver. Apparently very recently they found out that in the long term Provigil has some really nasty side effects. I know my limits when it comes to driving, the doc trusts me so I was allowed to keep my driver's license, but my limit is about 100-150km and even that sometimes requires pulling over and taking a nap. Monotonous driving on highways kills me.
In the beginning I tried to hide the problem, especially at work, but it has been futile effort and sooner or later I had to spill the beans anyway because people were getting the wrong message and e.g. thought I am out all night partying and then having problems to function normally during the day. It requires help or at least understanding from your boss and collegaues, so the arrangement is when the "sleep pressure" gets too strong I simply take a 15, 20, 30 minute nap and then stay at work late to compensate the lost time. Too bad I don't live in a country where they still observe siesta as it would make my life so much easier. This usually happens twice a day, during late morning and after lunch. This also means being less flexible as to changing jobs because of concerns about getting the same level of understanding and accomodation for the problem I have now in the new job.
Family and friends are a big help and again, when the sleepiness gets too strong to cope with at parties, family lunches, reunions etc. I simply excuse myself and go "recharge batteries"
Being in mid-30s I am having a huge dilemma whether or not to have my own kids as I firmly believe that people who have genetically transmissible handicaps should not procreate. Unfortunately, narcolepsy is one of such handicaps. There is about 10% chance of this disorder being passed on to my children and I would probably hate myself for the rest of my life if that happened.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 12148 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2183 times:
In the mean time when driving, do you have a friend or relative you can call, who can keep you talking should you feel sleepy?
A friend once thought she could beat sleep. After flying thousands of miles and then driving about 300 on the road, she slumped on the accelerator and drove off the UK's M5 at well over the speed limit. Somehow she was relatively fine, but the 4x4 she was in had to be cut out of the trunk of a tree it ended up smashing into some 100 yards off the road.
Hopefully the doctors will offer some advice for you
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AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2179 times:
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 20): I suffered from cataplexy, sleep paralysis etc. but these were only mild cases.
I assume you've had your thryroid checked? And not just your TSH, but free T3/T4 levels, too. (Personally, even though the medical profession disagrees with me, I think the TSH test is hogwash since it measures your pituitary gland output, not your thryoid gland. My TSH can be 15 one day and 44 six weeks later after increasing the medication.)
SOBHI51 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 4378 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 4 weeks ago) and read 2138 times:
A couple of times i slept with a cigarette in my hand, once i burned a big hole in the sofa in my house the other time i burned the carpet in the Royal Monceau in Paris, that made me see my doctor without delay, after a sleep study, i was put on a CPAP. Those things are great. Please see a doctor, if you sleep while driving the best case scenario is you will hurt yourself.
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: Happens to me from time to time. Usually it is the result of already being tired, being too warm, or a combination of the two. I'm fine as long as I'
: Sounds like a classic sleep apnea like I have. A major reason to get a sleep study. Which is another huge reason to get a sleep study. It really soun
: Get over to a doctor, might be some sort of disorder. But maybe the car as well (carbon monoxide buildup inside). I know it's probably freezing cold,
: Well done. Having been in an accident caused by someone falling asleep at the wheel, I cannot stress how important it is not to take chances with dri
: Been there, done that. Multiple times over the past 15 or so years I am coping with it. Had both the MSLT as well as the all-night test. And no, slee
: No doctor will laugh at you, not even out own DocLightning Hello to some fellow a.nutters with OSA, Personally I was Diagnosed in June last year, I v