I am going to have my first sleep study done soon, and they sent me a questionaire to fill out. My doctor is sending me because I am having a lot of daytime sleepiness, am overweight and I have loss of lordosis in my neck which he felt meant that I had OSA. As I was filling out the questionaire, I got to some questions about hallucinations and sleep paralysis and I thought those may be symptoms of OSA so I decided to look them up and found they are more widely associated with Narcolepsy.
So here is my question - I do not snore, unless I have a cold. I have never been told that I gasp for air at night. My husband is a very ligght sleeper so I do believe he would notice these things. I do realize that OSA can occur without these symptoms though.
What I do have is:
-sleep paralysis that started at some point between 6 and 8 years old, at this point 5 or 6 times a month.
-hypnagogic hallucinations that started when I was 13 or 14 and sound like someone shouting my name right next to my ear as I am about to fall asleep, or sometimes growling. I was convinced as a teenager that we had a poltergeist in our house because of this. This happens a few times a week and generally jerks me out of sleep.
-Intense dreaming that often starts in seconds of my falling asleep. I know this because if it's a nightmare I will jerk myself awake out of it and only a minute of so has passed since I last looked at the clock. This has been happening most of my life.
-Periods during the day (though not every day) where I get so tired I don't really know what's going on and get really scared that I am just going to fall asleep no matter where I am. This is what brought me to the doctor in the first place - I tried to explain that while I am always tired, this is a profound tiredness that is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, but I would liken it to taking a vicodin. The feeling that I absolutely must sleep right this second. But it goes away after a little while and I just feel normal tired again, but it often come back later in the day.
-I could and always have been able to go for a nap at any point in the day, usually for several hours. I would say I fal asleep in under 5 minutes most of the time when I lay down and never more than 10 minutes.
-I have always needed at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night to be functional - more to be happy.
-My Epsworth Sleepiness Scale score is 15
I do not have cataplexy, as far as I know. I do get jelly legs when I am intensely scared, but I think that's just normal - but then again, I thought all of this other stuff was normal up until yesterday.
So is this just OSA, or is it possibly Narcolepsy? The only time I ever really fall asleep without being able to help it is when I am a passenger in a car, reading a book or watching tv. I guess I had this idea that Narcolepsy meant falling down asleep randomly with no warning, and the more I have read the more I find that this might not be true. But I have also read a site that said all these symptoms can occur with OSA. Hopefully the sleep study will tell me more, but I was just curious.