Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Worried and Concerned
    An_249096 posted:
    I'm new here and have a real concern for a family member. They have seen a neurologist numerous times and participated in a sleep study but the issue is not presenting itself while at the study.

    The problem does not always occur but seem worse under times of stress. They fall into a strange state where they can be awake and all of a sudden they are not there mentally, like they are asleep but still look awake. Sometimes while sleeping they sleep walk, cannot be awakened and loose muscle control. At times, they fall into a state of sleep early, like around 7:30 and cannot be awakened but a few hours later they wake up and are normal. I am having problems expressing this as I am a relative and do not live with the individual.

    So at times they have severe periods of sleep-walking, confusion, lack of muscle control and other times they can look awake but have gone from being awake into a state where their eyes look hooded and they are not alert or aware and have to basically sleep it off.

    The funny thing is that at times they can be okay for a few weeks but then it seems to happen a lot. They are on provgigil. Also they have untreated sleep apnea. I hope I have expressed this well enough.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi and welcome,

    Why is your family member not treating the sleep apnea? That might be the first step.

    (FYI, no one here is a health professional but considering a sleep study has been done and sleep apnea found, I hope treatment for that will start soon.)
    worriedsis replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    I'm not sure why they are not treating the sleep apnea but will discuss with them. I think some are resistant to the machine that is used but without asking, I really don't know. It might also be that when it was diagnosed it wasn't that bad but really, I have no idea.

    And yes, I do realize they are no health professionals but this has been going on for years with no professional able to actually tell them what this is. I was just wondering if there was someone here that had something like this.

    But I will definitely encourage them to get the apnea treated. Thanks for your response.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to worriedsis's response:
    That's fine, Worriedsis. I just wanted to be sure you knew there was no expert here but I really hope others here will have some thoughts for you once they've had a chance to look in.

    FYI, my younger son (he's 27 now) has sleep apnea and it crept up on us, getting worse over time, and I don't think any of us realized how much this had been impacting his life in so many ways. Once that got treated, once he found the right pressure level, humidity and mask.... his world and his life have dramatically changed for the better.

    Even if it doesn't completely make a difference for your family member, it could help clarify what else may be going on if that, at least, is being treated.

    I hope you'll let us know how it goes.
    worriedsis replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thanks so much, Caprice. I called my sis who is married to the family member and did discuss briefly the sleep apnea but she indicated a lot of people do not want to use the machine. Our aunt has the machine and got used to it but some are stubborn.

    Happy for your son and his successful treatment of the sleep apnea. Regarding my family member, I will return should more information materialize however it seems unlikely. They do better at times of less stress. While on vacations, they do well, but back home, problems arise. It is very hard to manage someone who is not awake and is like a dead weight, and during their wanderings no attempt to wake works. Just sad.

    Anyway, thanks for assisting me.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to worriedsis's response:
    Perhaps one day he would consider therapy since stress seems to be at least part of the issue. Wishing your family member well.
    An_248704 responded:
    Has your family member ever had a sleep study done during the day? Also, are they aware of what is going on when they experience loss of muscle control? I only ask because, some of the symptoms you have mentioned are similar to Narcolepsy with cataplexy (a loss of muscle control due to REM sleep). I recommend researching narcolepsy and writing down all the symptoms they are having then revisiting a sleep specialist.

    Helpful Tips

    take meds at some time, don't eat after 7
    I meant the longer reply posted a few minutes ago to to go to donnajune2000 More
    Was this Helpful?
    8 of 8 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center