What can I do to heal chronic fatigue and inability to stay awake?

This question was asked in Bloomington, Minnesota on 11/28/2012.
I fall asleep during class lecture even when in the front row and with caffeine or energy drinks onboard. What is wrong with me? I have no history of sleep or neuro problems. I am 23 years old, an athlete, and have good nutrition. My fatigue has increased during the last 6 months. I began physician assistant school in May, 1 week after graduating from undergrad. Could this be stress related? Does BCBS cover sleep consults and sleep studies? I need help.

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 12/4/2012

You say you are unable to stay awake then say "I have no history of sleep problems" You do have a sleep disorder which should be addressed with the consult you suggest and an overnight attended sleep study. In addition to looking for the common sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and periodic limb movement disorder, your sleep architecture must be evaluated. Absence of certain stages of sleep can account for daytime fatigue and sleepiness. Also, narcolepsy should be considered. This may lead the consultant to order a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 11/29/2012

I agree you should be evaluated for a neurological reason for your sleepiness. I would suggest you find a board certified sleep specialist I'm your area and make an appointment Typically insurance will cover the evaluation and of needed sleep studies.