53F and I’m so freaking tired of being fatigued all the time. I can’t remember the last time I woke up refreshed. I used to blame it on my insane work travel schedule. Well, COVID grounded me and I’m still utterly exhausted after ten months of a pretty mellow workload. There’s something wrong.

Really, if I’m honest with myself my fatigue goes back over 20 years, even when I was young and in great shape. I masked it with a lot of coffee, but I’ve always had trouble sleeping.

But it’s gotten worse as I’ve moved towards menopause. It’s not thyroid or hormones; my bloodwork is fine, so it’s something else. These days, I wake up around 6, drink several cups of coffee – and then I feel like it’s a race to get as much done as I can, before the lethargy catches up. By noon I’m starting to flag, yawning and low-energy, completely drained. All I want to do is sleep, just lie down because I’m so desperate to be rested. Even if I nap, though, I’m still exhausted. Nights aren’t much better. I wake up frequently, have to get up to pee at least 2-3 times a night, and have AM migraines once a week or so. I am never rested.

I think I’ve been exhausted for years. I’ve always struggled to make it through a work week, often so tired I was literally nauseated by Fridays. I’d collapse and sleep all day on Saturdays. Now that I’m working remotely and not in the office, I think I’m noticing the daily exhaustion more – I have fewer in-person meetings to distract me.

I’ve got pretty bad asthma and my pulmonologist last year suggested I get checked for a sleep disorder after I mentioned that I get restless legs when I take certain antihistamines. I stupidly blew off his suggestion, because at the time I didn’t think of myself as a snorer. I figured I was just menopausal & out of shape.

HOWEVER, I started sleeping on my back recently. Oh boy. My mouth falls open and I’ve woken myself up snoring. I am apparently so loud my husband has to sleep in the guest room & can hear me across the house. !!! My RLS is worse, too.

I started reading about apnea and thought I’d get a sleep study. When I Zoomed with the sleep specialist and described my issues, she immediately said, ‘I think you’re a woman with apnea.’ She has it, too, and told me it’s underdiagnosed in women. She was really empathetic.

I’m actually hoping I have apnea. I’m so tired of feeling exhausted, no motivation, foggy. I’m tired of spending every day fixated on the next time I can get some sleep. Not that it matters if I do sleep, because even after what should be a solid 9 hours, I’m still exhausted. This sucks. I’d love to have a day of ‘normal’ energy, instead of spending most of my waking hours wondering why I’m so forgetful, unproductive, uninterested, and unmotivated.

Thanks for letting me vent! And say a prayer I need a CPAP because that would be a huge relief.

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