Can a sleep study help me if I stay awake constantly?

This question was asked in Cincinnati, Ohio on 02/13/2013.
I struggle with staying awake constantly. I want to get a sleep study done to determine if anything is wrong. I used to drive to school and would fall asleep while driving. I am on medication that is supposed to help me stay awake right now but it does not seem to help. What can I do?

Doctors Answers (4)

Jana P. Kaimal, MD, FCCP
Answered on: 4/5/2013 7

A sleep study performed by a qualified sleep center provides valuable insight into your body's physical and mental activity while sleeping. It can also provide explanations as to why you are so tired during the day. You should definitely schedule a consultation with a qualified sleep specialist and discuss this with them.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 2/19/2013

A sleep study can tell if there is something interrupting your sleep that will then cause daytime sleepiness. Sleep Apnea and Periodic Leg Movements are some of the causes of interupted sleep and hence daytime sleepiness. There are two daytime tests, MSLT and MWT, that can either document Narcolepsy, Hypersomnia, or one's ability/inability to stay awake during the daytime. You should be seen by a board certified sleep specialist to document your problems and which tests would be appropriate to diagnose your condition.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 2/19/2013

As we say, it is not much help to watch someone not sleep all night. If you stay awake constantly you must first seek consultation with a physician to help get you to sleep. Then, if there are possible issues which keep you awake or you are very sleepy in the daytime, a sleep study may be helpful in determining the cause. This could include sleep disordered breathing, limb movements or fragmentation of sleep patterns from other causes. Daytime sleepiness, as you say you have, can be secondary to sleep deprivation from many causes or even narcolepsy which is a condition associated with not only daytime sleepiness but also with insomnia. Again, you first need to consult with a sleep specialist.

Ramie A. Tritt, M.D., FRCSC
Answered on: 2/14/2013

You need to schedule an appointment with Dr Kowal or Dr Tritt. They will need to exam you and take a complete history to determine what your best treatment plan would be.