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suddenly falling asleep during the day

I have partial seizures that usually involve deja vu and the occasional jamais vu.  Sometimes I experience depersonaliztion, but thankfully not much lately.  

I am wondering if anyone else fights to stay awake when they are inactive.  I have times when I suddenly just can't stay awake.  I will nod off after fighting to stay awake and battling the yawns for awhile.  There are times when I even have a dream.  I don't stay asleep long but I struggle to stay awake and can close my eyes and be out in a flash.  The only thing I have found that helps is getting up and moving around.  This usually happens when I am inactive and relaxed.  Meetings, reading groups (I'm a teacher), reading, doing paperwork, watching tv, etc.....  It is getting to the point where I dread reading with the children in class.  I just can't stay awake if it lasts more than about 15  minutes.

Please write back if you experience this too.









hi teach.

Yes it happens to me.  I have gotten to the point of not reading in a setting position.  doc suggestion, it works.  i don't know if that is possible for you.  if i stop for more than a few minutes I am out.  The other thing to consider is that this is a form of the simple partial.  The  yawning and not being able to stop is the reason i make the question.   It is in the process right now for me.  blurred vision and sudden onset of fatigue.  got to go for a walk.   hope it helps.   rikk

Hi Rikk,

Thanks for the response.  I am happy to know that I am not the only one who experiences this.  Are you on any medications?  What kind of seizures do you have?  Please keep me posted if you find any answers to this.  I have never taken any medications for my seizures but I am so tired of having this happen at work that I am going to see my doctor in a few weeks and am willing to try medicine.  Maybe it is just sleep deprivation.  I hope to figure it out.



I was doing this all the time... I think it must be some kind of seizure...I was having grand mals and abesence seizure... and during the am I would sit down and I would be "sleep"... mine would last for sometimes over an hour... I would wake up confused.. ... at that time I was on the generic Keppra 1500 mg twice a day... I had a couple of bad grand mals and the doc upped the Keppra to 2000mg twice a da y and then 2 weeks later he added a new drug called Vimpat I am taking 100mg twice a day and next week it will up upped to 200mg twice a day. The "sleep" eposodes have stopped and I think I have been for the most part seizure free for 10 days!

talk to your doctor some of the things that were happening to me were seizures... it is amazing to find out the different types of seizures there are...... so far the Keppra and Vimpat are working... the side effects are worth it if I can be seizure free..

Good Luck


This is exactly the kind of seizure I have.  I thought it was narcolepsy or some other sleep disorder, and had all the tests in a sleep lab done.  They determined it wasn't a sleep disorder, and in fact, all the times I thought I was falling asleep, I didn't fall asleep once!  I dream during these episodes too.  Triggers for me:  driving more than a half hour, certain people's speaking voices, computers, explosions in movies, repetitive tasks, reading, sometimes crossword puzzles, certain lighting conditions.  I've even fallen asleep while walking (I used to be a security guard at night, and the repetition of the route would make me "fall asleep" and I'd wake up not knowing where I was).  Playing with my son when he was little would sometimes be so repetitive I could barely function.  After the so-called sleep, I feel stuck in glue for about an hour afterwards.  1000mg of Keppra twice a day has taken care of just about all of this except for rare occasions.


Hi Deb,

Thanks for responding. You describe the exact same thing that I go through!  I haven't fallen asleep while walking but I have while riding an exercise bike.  Weird. 

 I also went through the narcolepsy tests.  The blood test for the narcolepsy gene came out negative so they ruled out narcolepsy.  The sleep study showed me as an extremely sleepy person.  Did your doctor say your episodes are the result of seizure acitivity?  If so, what kind?

If it isn't seizure activity, I am wondering if it is possibly due to low blood pressure.  I don't know what else to think.  I don't see other people fighting to stay awake like me and I hate that it affects my job.

Thanks for sharing,



Well, after all the sleep disorder and narcolepsy tests, the first neurologist I had told me I was depressed.  I insisted I wasn't, she insisted I was.  I was seeing a sleep disorder psychologist at the time to see if she could help me by perhaps changing my sleep habits, etc., and she completely agreed that I was not depressed.  She had a group meeting that included sleep specialists, neurologists and psychologists, and she presented my case at the meeting.  One of the neurologists asked her to have me see him.  When he gave me an EEG, it showed seizure activity in my left temporal lobe.  His conclusion was that what I thought was nodding off all the time were actually complex partial seizures.  What tipped him off I think was that I described feeling like my stomach was doing a little flip (like being on a roller coaster) before I'd "fall asleep."  I didn't know anything about seizures or auras at the time, and I guess I was describing something very common to seizures, so he ordered the EEG.

The whole thing caught me totally off guard.  Before that, I only thought seizures came in two flavors: grand mal or absence--I had never heard of any other kind and never even considered that the years and years I spent falling asleep at odd times might be due to seizures.  Since then, I've identified quite a few triggers, and can think back to when I was really young (maybe 6 or 7) and used to be terrified by a recurring "dream" I'd have while I knew I was still awake.  I could never properly describe it to anyone, so I used to call it a nightmare, but it was more like a distortion than a dream, and I knew I wasn't asleep when I had it.  Now I think that may have been the beginning of the seizures.

It definitely was hard at my job.  I'd nod at my computer, meetings where I was supposed to be taking minutes, just sitting at my desk--people would poke fun at me all the time.  My boss's voice just coming from his office would trigger these episodes, so you can imagine how nervous that made me!  Lecture classes in college were really hard, and I'd take notes that later made no sense at all and would trail off the edges of the paper in some kind of meaningless scrawl.  I could go on, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Good luck finding out the answer.  My life is a lot more comfortable since I've been taking Keppra (it's been about 3 1/2 years now).  Every now and then I still have one of these episodes, but really, hardly ever compared to what it was like before.  I never fall asleep at the computer or in meetings, no matter how deadly dull they are, so I know now it wasn't just boredom.  I can watch whole movies and ride in cars and stay awake (but I'm really still afraid to drive for more than a half hour).  I can't say I feel totally fog-free and alert, but way, way better.



Wow, I have this too. I didn't know that this could be an actual seizure. In fact, I've spent the past few days in a fog and yesterday ( I know it sounds silly) I laid in the bed semi-conscious for about 3 hours holding on to the baby's foot so he wouldn't fall, while my older son played with him. He would shake me periodically and try to wake me up but I felt like I was under a blanket. I just couldn't come out of it. This has happened a lot throughout my life and I've just accepted that I'm a sleepyhead :). But it's weird, because It's very heavy, like you're drugged or something.
I also have the boredom-induced sleep. Anything repetitive. I had a hard time in lecture-type classes in high school and my son likes me to make up stories. I enjoy it, but I find myself getting really tired and saying crazy things! ;)

i also do this some days i have grandmal sezuirs but tend to get sleep and just fall asleep sometimes  i thought maybe it was my meds

 I have just been at my Dr because of the amount i have been sleeping 10-12hrs at nite then dosing during the day , for a while i was struggling to sleep at nite when it was a case i was up till about 5-6am and this went on for ages but i have been sleeping so much for ages and like yourself i have to keep myself up so i do not fall asleep but even if i sit with a cuppa i can go to sleep for any length of time .

It ends up you dread going to bed so your not the only one do not worry . xx Julie xx

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