I Need Advice on Sleeping Too Much - Having No Energy.

Updated on April 17, 2007
M.B. asks from Lake Villa, IL
15 answers

I will try to make this short. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism 11 years ago. (When your thyroid is not active enough). I have had it under control using synthroid since then. I am 5 months pregnant, but all of my "symtoms/laziness" has been happening a long time before the pregnancy. I am also on Zoloft for depression. It has been under control since before my pregnancy.

Here is my concern: I sleep all the time! I do not have any energy. My house is a mess. I can not get the energy to do anything. I drop my daughter off at school, come home, eat breakfast and then go back to bed. I set my alarm so I am awake when she gets home off the bus. I do not have any energy to play with my daughter. I have to get the baby's room cleaned up, it is our "catch all room" at the moment. I know it wont take long, but I can't seem to get motivated. My mother in law is coming in 2 weeks to spend some time with us. I thought that of all things should get me motivated.

I do feel like I am just lazy, how ever I am extremely tired all the time. It is hard for me to get daily chores done. I try to adapt an additude of just attack what needs to be done for one hour (then I usually keep going until the chore is done), but I get so tired I do not even start.

I talked to my regular doctor about this. She told me to see my psychiatrist about this. I did talk to my psychiatrist and I was told to see my regular doctor. I am at my wits end. I know I have a problem, but I don't know what to do. It seems like no one wants to help.

My husband is very supportive! (one reason I am suffering depression is a horrible 1st marriage). I do not excersize as much as I should. I am hoping to get outside more with the nice weather. My eating habits are not that good. I have not been hungry since I got pregnant. My doctor said this will change. I take vitamins and try to eat healthy meals, even if they are little. My husband does help me out when ever possible. I am very grateful for that.

Thanks for reading. Any advice would be appreciated. I don't know what to do.


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answers from Chicago on

to M. B
if you feel like talking just talk i am heard to listen maybe you need a friend to listen sometimes it is hard just being a mom,and wife all in one

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answers from Chicago on

I feel that you are just going to have to motivate yourself. Yes I know it is hard kind of like pushing a boulder up hill but after taking your girl to school park the car and go for a short walk, look around you and get your mind off of what is wrong with you. Eat light but healthy meals all day long even if it is just a carrot. When it comes to your house, pick one room and work on one corner of it, then go get something to drink, limit yourself to a 15 minute break and get back to it. Depending on how understanding your mum in law is it will either motivate you or she will help you out. Enlist the help of a friend or a family member, if money is no issue get a cleaning lady in once a week to handle the bulk. If you health is up to it (physically) get out and walk 2 to 4 time a day (bring your cell if you need to make a call or if hubby needs to talk to you when out) even if you go from corner to corner it will help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I read your posting a few days ago and went back to it to see people's responses. I am very curious about this because your exact symptoms are what afflicts my husband every single day. I wanted to first off tell you even though most ppl. told you helpful things there was one woman who told you basicly to "push" yourself and get over the fatigue. I can tell you I understand how ignorant she is of your situation and please do not take her comment to heart. My husband has had this crazy fatigue for about two years now and he is on meds for depression, has had numerous sleep studies, has been tested for thyroid disorders, has had numerous blood tests, you name it and he's done it. I am at wits end because he is the bread winner and he's currently not winning. He lost his job already twice in the past two years and it is due to his lateness in coming to work each day. He is awesome at what he does professionally but his fatigue and tiredness is destroying him...and us. We have a 21 month old and I am pregnant with our second. I deliberated for a long time about having any more kids because I was nervous about his current situation. But I can not put my life on hold because of this. I have to continue living and being a mother. I work from home mostly and I try real hard to put up with this situation. I just don't know who to take him to next. We are broke at this point and I have medical bills up the wazoo that I have no idea how to help him --- QUICK! If you got any good ideas or if you found an option that works please please share. Or anyone else who reads this please share as well. By the way, I do believe his pych meds are right and the dosages are, I think its something else we're dealing with but don't know what.



answers from Chicago on

Honestly, I would find a new dr. who is willing to listen.

I have a friend with the same problems as you and she has finally found a wonderful dr who is willing to take time with her and listen to family history. They are currently investigating her hormone levels to see if this is the source of her tiredness.
I would ask about this (though it may be hard now if you are pregnant, not sure.)
Also, ask to have your levels checked OFTEN! Your meds might not be helping you anymore and might need to be upped.
Google any symptoms you have and ask questions about what comes up. Do you have signs for MS or things like that?
I know it can be scary to think it is something more serious, but it's better to find out now and FEEL BETTER!
I would definitely look into other options dr-wise. Post here on mamasource- I bet you'll get some great leads on dr's in your area. Or if you have an OB or dentist, etc that you love, ask them for a recommendation for someone just as great as they are. Often they are happy to refer you. My OB's office did this for me and I found a great general practitioner after months of searching on my own!
Good Luck and I hope you get some energy soon!
-A. R

PS- You might also find a support group for thyroid and tiredness issues- either in person through the hospital, etc or online. Just being able to hear how other people cope might give you some ideas and make you feel less alone!



answers from Chicago on

I agree with the others. I practice primary care and have a few ideas...

-TSH levels fluctuate wildly during pregnancy. Yes, you have talked to your doc about it, but did she do any lab tests?

-Anemia could be another reason. I'm sure your OB is checking your cbc levels, but make sure she had done one recently. Even if you are taking prenatal vitamins, you can still be anemic.

-Allergies and asthma, they can really wind you down. Do you have a clear runny nose at times? Do you itch your nose, ears, or eyes? Does your palate sometimes itch? Do you feel like you can't take a deep breath, as if your chest is tight? Do you get out of breath quickly?

-Gestational diabetes. I can't recall when you do the gestational diabetes screening, but make sure it has been done. Elevated serum glucose can make you feel very fatigued as well.

-Sleep apnea. Does your husband notice you snore at night? If so, does he notice that you stop breathing when you sleep, and then suddenly gasp for air? It can happen over and over when you sleep. Usually it's the partner who notices these signs - you are too deep asleep to realize. Sleep apnea (I have it!) is when your airway collapses, and thus you struggle to breath as you sleep. As a result, it does not allow the body to rest fully at night, and thus during the daytime one feels very fatigued and tired all the time.

- Restless leg syndrome - do you have a creepy, crawly sensation in your legs, when you are sitting or sleeping? That can also impair sleep and make you tired.

-Inflammatory arthritis -- do you have any joint pain or body pain? Conditions like rheumatoid, lupus, polymyalgia can cause fatigue. There are blood tests that can rule this out.

-Depression can cause fatigue. Are you sure your depression is under control? My depression got worse when I got pregnant, and it was my husband who pointed that out to me; I didn't realize it. Do you find yourself feeling like you want to cry for no reason? Do you feel guilty, helpless, sad, worthless? Your psychiatrist should be monitoring your symptoms to make sure you are not having any worsening depression.

-Neurologic conditions, such as MS, and fibromyalgia. Usually, fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion -- meaning, after every other exhaustive testing has been negative. Multiple sclerosis can be diagnosed by an MRI. Symptoms of MS are vague: trouble seeing, dizziness, trouble walking, headaches.

- Lastly, cardiac murmurs can cause fatigue. But I'm sure this has been ruled out during a physical exam your MD must have done.

- In a nutshell, I would consult another MD/PA/provider. OB doctors are not really equipped to handle non-OB problems like fatigue. This should be adressed by a primary care provider. My primary care doc is Dr. Nancy Mantich, who works out of Glenview and Mt Prospect. She is PHENOMENAL. Her number is ###-###-####.

good luck!



answers from Chicago on


Wow, your post was overwhelming to even read. I'm sorry that you are dealing with this issue.

Truthfully, I don't know why your doctor isn't more helpful. Perhaps you can get a second opinion on what exactly is going on. What about talking to your OB/GYN? I know you said this was going on prior to pregnancy, but has it gotten more severe since you were pregnant? Maybe the combination of the pregnancy hormones and the thyroid meds aren't a good mix and there should be a dosage change? I'm just throwing ideas out there, as I don't have any personal experience here.

What about the Zoloft? Are there some side effects that indication extreme exhaustion? Perhaps a change in that would be warranted.

Seriously, if your regular doctor won't help, it's time to talk to someone else, and soon. This can't be healthy for your marriage (as I'm sure you know) or for the relationship with your 6 year old.

I think it's very brave and a huge obstacle already passed that you can admit there is something wrong and that something needs to be done. Find another doctor in your insurance network or get a recommendation from your OB/GYN or psychiatrist.

Good luck and I truly hope you can find a way to figure this all out.




answers from Chicago on

Try to do a little bit and then rest. Think about what motivates you, music or chatting on the phone?



answers from Chicago on

I have had the same syptoms and have done everything under the sun to control them and it is amazing how the minute I think I'm doing better... family will start wildly accusing me. For class online I was researching and read that who you marry can definitely affect your mental health. But being on state medical, the possiblilities of finding the doctor who will go the whole route with you is even harder than for the average American, I guess we all know why. I am getting so bad I am not even trying to respect other's feelings as I used to. I just tell the truth without malice and hope people don't take offense! I am beginning to believe thyroid must be the issue because my sister had hers removed and there are just too many similarities. Don't give up looking for the right doctor and be sure your house is free of allergens, because Mold is my trigger! I always nosedive after mold finds its way into the house.



answers from Chicago on

Just a couple more ideas to throw out there - celiac disease, fibromyalgia. And of course chronic fatigue.

Actually, I think a lot of the auto-immune diseases have these things in common - cause fatigue, seem to affect women more than men, are often hard to diagnose or misdiagnosed.

Anyway, google "thyroid disease and celiac disease." A lot of people with thyroid issues also have celiac. There is a blood test they can do that can rule out celiac (or suggest further testing.)



answers from Chicago on

Seeing as how I do not know all the intricacies of your situation, my advice may not be the best for you but here goes:

Too much sleep can cause lethargy and drain your energy. Of course, since you're pregnant, I would NEVER encourage you deny yourself the much needed rest to sustain your growing child. Perhaps you can try to get yourself on somewhat of a 'sleep/wake' schedule?

Also, as strange as this sounds, if you add exercise to your daily routine you may find that you actually have more energy. Again, since you're pregnant I'm not suggesting you take up marathon training; starting with a simple 10-15 minute walk around the neighborhood or the mall could be the pick me up that you need. Too often people only focus on the physical benefit of exercise and forget the valuable emotional and chemical benefit it provides. Exercising releases endorphins in the brain - the feel-good chemicals which might be helpful in pulling you out of a lethargic funk. Again, ALWAYS check with your doctor before commencing an exercise program.

I'd be concerned that your PSYCHIATRIST, a medical doctor who is supposed to be supportive of your mental health, had no advice to give you other than to talk to your OB/GYN. Um, isn't mental health and wellness education what you or your insurance is paying him/her for?!?

The first thing you need to do is focus on YOU. Don't become overwhelmed about the housework or other tasks because your life and your family's life won't be destroyed because of it. Start small - you cannot fix these concerns overnight. For example, set yourself some goals and work towards achieving them. Stick with a schedule or a routine but don't make it stringent. After you have your morning breakfast, immediately set off on a walk but for a manageable period of time (say 10 minutes). If you want to take a nap after that, go for it.

Again, I don't know your whole situation and I realize that every woman is different, but trying to make a simple routine/schedule and committing to sticking to it could possibly make a difference.



answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

Do you have an endocrinologist from when you where dx with hypo, you can start there if not make sure your OB stays on top of this. It sounds like you levels are off. You should get your levels checked, thyroid can effect the baby. I was told that when you are pregnant you should have you levels checked every 4-6 weeks, because your levels change alot at different stages of your pregnancy.

If not picking up around the house is stressing you out maybe you could hire someone to help out for a few months. I'm sure your daughter understands that mommy doesn't feel good, maybe just sitting and reading a book with her will make both of you feel better.

Hope you feel better, there is nothing wrong with sitting around when we are pregnant it takes alot of energy to make a human.



answers from Chicago on

Talk to another psych doctor. Keep talking to the doctors until someone listens to you. You may need a change in medication. Look into seeing a counselor too. You are going to need to get your depression under control before the baby is born. I am sure the change in going on in your body are contributing to your depression.

I've been there. It is not easy to change but you can do it. Keep pushing until you get a doctor to listen to you!

good luck...if your want to talk.. email me at [email protected]____.com


answers from Chicago on

Have you ever seen an endocrinologist? He/she may be better able to treat your thryoid as well as look into other symptoms/issues. I went to one a few years ago and it was a good move. Some other suggestions could be part of the issue too... anemia, tiredness from pregnancy, medication but your ob/gyn and primary care should be able to work together so it might be best to find a new primary care or even an ob/gyn. Good luck. I know I need to make an appointment myself as I think I am a bit out of whack since I had my twins 9.5 months ago. Take care!


answers from Chicago on

Hi Marrianne,

Is your ob/gyno. doctor monitoring your TSH levels? Your TSH levels may fluctuate while you are pregnant and your medication may need to be adusted accordingly. I take the generic form of synthroid now, and only get a blood test yearly to monitor my levels for hypothyroidism since I am not pregnant. (I was diagnosed as having this by my infertility doctor.)
HOWEVER... my TSH levels were monitored by blood tests at least a couple of times during my pregnancy by my ob/gyno. This is by far, the first thing I would consider regarding your state of tiredness.

If all is fine with what I mentioned above, please let me know, so that I could suggest some other ideas to help you.




answers from Chicago on

I am a mother of three. I also work at a daycare. My first question is, Do you snore? I used to take zoloft but have switched since I gained so much weight on it. However, I dont think the Dr.s thought my tiredness came from that. I took that for about 10yrs. at least.
As I read through all the responses I was a little suprised no one had even mentioned a sleep study on you.
I was always very very tired. I still am, actually. I went to my Dr. and we ran several tests. I now see a nerologist for these systoms.
I found out that I have sleep apnea. It is very mild, but enough where I would need a machine. In fact, I just got my machine yesterday.
I thought I was actually getting 8 hours a night sleep, but the test results showed I was only getting about 4 hrs a night sleep. No wonder I was so tired always. There would be days where I thought if I dont nap, I wouldnt make it through the day.
I'm also going through tests to determine if I have MS...this is a result of something showing up on my cat scans, and mri's.
However, I strongly urge you to ask your doctor for a sleep study.
As you can tell, I am so excited to see if it works. My family needs me and I want to be there for them, physically. Their dad does so much with them, but I want to to. I just couldnt. I was so darn tired.
I cant wait to live again. This has been going on for almost 20 something years.
I hope this helps you. Keep me informed, I am very curious about your case. Like I said, I cant wait to feel the energy again.

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