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Ask Dr. Abby Your Own Question
Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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For the past 6 weeks I am constantly feeling low on energy,

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For the past 6 weeks I am constantly feeling low on energy, always very tired and having trouble sleeping most nights. I will sleep for a couple of hours and then im awake and cant get back to sleep. I constantly feel like I have restless legs when lying down. Every morning I am awake aroung 5am and cant get back to sleep. I feel that my usual activities are too much as I have no energy. I play football once a week and train once a week which I love, but my energy levels cant seem to cope. I have a lot of headaches which I assume is due to lack of sleep
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.

Do you feel like the restless legs are what are keeping you awake?
How is your mood?
Do you snore?
Are you overweight?

dr abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I dont feel that the restless legs keep me awke it's just an uncomfortable feeling. My mood is generally ok, although I feel like I am getting grumpy because of the tiredness. I am not over weight as I am active sports wise, although not as much as I dont have the energy.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thank you for the information...

I know how difficult it is when you are not sleeping well.
The restless legs can certainly be a contributing factor to your poor sleep. If you find that it is becoming an issue to where it is preventing you from sleeping, there are medications that help to eliminate the symptoms (i.e. ropinirole or pramipexole).

As I am sure you are aware, it is important to practice good sleep hygiene when going through bouts of difficulty sleeping.
This involves avoidance of caffeine in the afternoon, avoiding any naps during the day, trying to go to bed at the same time every night, using the bedroom only for sex and for sleep.
If you are unable to fall asleep after 15-30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else for a while. Then try again. If still unable after 15-30 minutes, get out of bed again...

Getting to the underlying issue as to why you are tired/not sleeping well is also important although most of the time no specific reason is found.
Your doctor should check you for anemia (rare in men) and thyroid problems.
Depression is a very common cause of fatigue and difficulty sleeping also.

If your symptoms persist, there are medications that can be tried. In general, we avoid sleeping pills such as ambien or lunesta unless the issue is due to shift work problems or is very short term (jet lag issues). There are some antidepressants that are used for insomnia (doxepin, trazodone and elavil) that your doctor may consider using if sleep hygiene measures don't work.

So, to summarize, I would see your regular doctor for basic blood testing. Sleep hygiene is important and consider medication for restless legs if you are awakened by the discomfort. Antidepressants can be used if necessary.

Let me know if you have any further questions,

Dr Abby
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