US Woman Who Felt Tired All The Time Diagnosed With Rare Sleeping Disorder

Idiopathic hypersomnia affects up to 50 in every 1 million people. (Representative pic)

A 26-year-old US woman who felt tired all the time and found herself dozing off at school and in dance classes growing up has been diagnosed with a rare chronic sleeping disorder. According to the New York Post, Alyssa Davis, a model and a digital marketer, sought medical advice after she found it “impossible” to fight the urge to close her eyes out of pure exhaustion. Initially, doctors dismissed her by telling her to “just drink coffee”. However, when she took part in a clinical sleep study, she was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia, which is a rare chronic sleep disorder characterised by excessive sleepiness with no clear clues. 

“It’s like being trapped in the ‘Groundhog Day’ movie – except instead of reliving the same day, I just relive the same exhaustion,” the 26-year-old said, as per the Post

Ms Davis said that sometimes she has to plan for hours to complete simple tasks as her condition clouds her thinking, making concentration a constant struggle. “I have to prepare just to have a shower as the [exhaustion] never dissipates,” she explained. “I’ll sleep 10, 12, sometimes even 14 hours and still wake up feeling like I pulled an all-nighter,” she added. 

The 26-year-old said she started showing symptoms as a child, noting that her mother recalls having to put her down for a nap more often than not. She was always more tired than her friends and family, which affected her daily life, and soon, her confidence, she said. 

“Ever since I was a little kid, sleep and I haven’t got along,” she shared. “It wasn’t just like having the occasional late night. It was a constant, bone-deep exhaustion that often blurred the edge of my vision. I’d sit down in theatre class, excited to do my favourite lesson and suddenly my memory would blur,” Ms Davis said. 

“The feeling of sudden exhaustion became a tell-tale sign that I was about to lose consciousness,” she added. 

The 26-year-old said her fatigue increased in high school and she’d fall asleep in class, sometimes even having to leave to take a nap. “I routinely stumbled to the side in tap dance, slumped to the floor, unable to remain upright, and there were countless times when I felt unsafe,” she recalled. “It was embarrassing, and I didn’t know what the problem was,” she added. 

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Ms Davis said she consulted countless doctors who allegedly called her “lazy” and “careless”. She then contacted a specialist, who suggested taking part in a sleep study, which required her to slumber for 14 consecutive hours. 

The results showed her body never entered a deep state of sleep that’s needed for proper rest. She was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia. 

According to the Sleep Foundation news site, idiopathic hypersomnia affects up to 50 in every 1 million people. Symptoms include dizziness or lightheadedness when standing, headaches, brief stints of sleep paralysis, and brain fog.

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