Body shuts down same time every day

Question

Hi, For 5 or 6 years I have had to stop what I was doing at about the same time every day (4:00) because of a sudden fatigue onset followed by the urge to fall asleep. this happens at work, while driving, or even on days of rest. I've tried everything, can you help?

Answer

Hi,

Just exactly what are you doing at 4:00 every day? I have a bout of sudden fatigue followed by the urge to fall asleep every time I hear George Bush open his mouth, but that's another story. OK, so what could be your problem? There is a medical condition called narcolepsy, but with this condition, these bouts of uncontrollable sleep occur at irregular intervals rather than the same time every day. Like infants after nursing, adults tend to get sleepy after a big meal. Do you eat a sizeable late lunch every day? How about a medication effect? For instance, a daily allergy tablet containing an antihistamine might be kicking in right around 4:00, depending on when it's ingested. I think the best thing is to see your primary care doctor for a checkup. This is one of those problems with many possible causes, and without additional information, I could be guessing for quite awhile. So, until you get an appointment, I'd suggest a Starbucks double espresso at 3:45 PM everyday. OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob