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Am I suffering from narcolepsy?

Q: I am a 53 years old female and have started feeling very tired and sleepy throughout the day. I feel sleepy while watching television, reading something or sitting down quietly. I also fall asleep in a moving vehicle. If I eat a hearty breakfast or food through out the day, the situation is not so bad. I try to sleep at night but wake up at around 2 am. By 10 am, I start feeling sleepy at work. The situation is becoming challenging because I am afraid to drive on my own. My job involves driving at times. Am I suffering from narcolepsy or some other sleep disorder?

A:It is possible that you might have narcolepsy, however, you also want to make sure that you are getting enough sleep during night as inadequate night-time sleep could lead to increased sleepiness during the day. In any case, you need to see a sleep physician as soon as possible as it is dangerous to drive if you are sleepy. In fact, driving while being sleepy is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. It is dangerous to not only you but also to others on the road. I strongly suggest that you see a physician specialising in sleep disorders as soon as possible so that you get proper assessment and treatment. Until you see a physician for treatment, you should avoid driving.


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