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Adrienne Dellwo

Brain Fog & Sleeping Brains in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By May 2, 2011

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Has brain fog ever made you feel like your brain just "shut off" or "went to sleep" for a bit? New research on sleep-deprived brains suggests that could be exactly what's happening.

Sleep is abnormal and non-restorative in both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which has lead many researchers to believe that long-term sleep deprivation is central to the illnesses.

Now, in research on rats, scientists have shown for the first time that after sleep deprivation, parts of the brain can briefly behave as if they are asleep. They linked these "outages" to reduced performance in tests.

Indications for Brain Fog

This finding is a long way from saying that the brains of humans with sleep deprivation do the same thing, and even farther from applying it to specific conditions. I have to say, though, that I'd put money on something like this happening in us.

During episodes of brain fog, I've blanked out a few seconds of conversation, several minutes of a television show, and, once, the entire rush-hour drive home (which, in retrospect, was terrifying!)

It's not like I'm simply distracted by something, either. It's like part of my brain turns off for a few seconds. I don't hear anything, or record anything to memory. It's like a blank spot on a tape.

Our brains are complex and different areas are highly interconnected. Very few activities involve only one area. Having random areas briefly go to sleep could explain a lot about how brain fog works. Communication takes up a lot of the brain, so it makes sense that we'd have problems if one of these areas dosed off for a few seconds while we were talking.

What do you think -- does this sound like a likely clue to brain fog? Does it sometimes seem like part of your brain is asleep on the job? Leave your comments below!

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Comments
May 2, 2011 at 9:35 am
(1) Christin says:

This totally sounds like me! Just recently, I was at a Bible study and someone was reading a portion of scripture. I thought I was listening and understanding just fine until people started discussing part of the story that I had absolutely no recollection of. I looked back over what we had just read, and sure enough, it was right there in front of me. Also, I wait tables for a living and there have been several times where I’ll be asking a customer a question about their order and I realize that I have no idea what I’m saying. It’s like my mouth becomes disconnected from my brain and I truly have no clue what I’m saying. I very often have trouble in everyday conversations because I’ll be talking and then mid-sentence, my thoughts evaporate and I have no idea what I was just talking about or where I was going with the conversation. Or I just can’t make sense of what the other person is saying to me. It’s so frustrating and, sadly, it has caused a few arguments with my family. Thankfully, I’m understanding what’s going on with my head better so if I don’t understand someone in my family I just apologize and tell them it’s CFS giving me grief.

May 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm
(2) Maggie says:

Me too!! You describe my typical problems exactly!

May 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm
(3) shell says:

This is my life, too. Very embarassed, and feel like I have lost my mind…Scared.

May 7, 2011 at 12:03 am
(4) shell says:

this is my life…I am very scared about this, and feel like I am losing my mind, which in turn..makes me nervous and irratable and I don’t mean to be that way.

May 8, 2011 at 7:53 am
(5) Leann says:

Same here…very scary!!!

May 8, 2011 at 11:03 am
(6) Michelle says:

For me, this has got to be one of the worst symptom I have with my fibromyalgia. My family and friends are understanding. My father has trouble accepting or talking about my fibro. He knows it’s real, that’s not the problem. He just seems to believe that because I am “highly intelligent” (his words), I should somehow be able to change the way my brain operates. According to his perceptions, I have some ability to overcome fibrofog by just changing the way I do things, by using only positive words, by not discussing it, or by just denying it myself. There are many reasons why I have to deal with him on a daily basis. Talk about frustrating! I have cried many times over this. Fibrobog has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. It is what it is and it is such a horrible thing to have to deal with daily. I hate explaining, apologizing, and feeling like an idiot sometimes.

May 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm
(7) Christin says:

I know how you feel Michelle! I’m not a brilliant person, but I’m fairly intellectual and love to learn and to write. Now with CFS, I am much slower with both things. I’m trying to learn to accept my new limits, but it isn’t easy. Especially when I go into remission for a while, the return of my symptoms usually depresses me for a week or two. My Dad has trouble believing that anything is really wrong with me. He frequently suggests that I take some vitamins or get more exercise, which is hard to take. Especially since I desperately miss cycling.

May 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm
(8) Victoria says:

I also understand what you all are saying and my heart grieves for you.

I was on my way to church, which is close to where I use to live. I couldn’t remember where I was or where I was going. I called my brother-in-law, who came from another side of town to transport me home, which was almost two hours away.

Second, last week I was awaken by a call. The lady asked if an ambulance needed to be called, as she could tell I was confused. I instead asked her to phone inside the home to get someone to help me. My biggest concern was; did I hurt someone while I was banked out.

I pray each day there will be a cure discovered. Until then let’s stay string in spirit and heart.

May 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm
(9) Crystal J Ortmann says:

I find it so sad that so many of us are afraid. I feel at times as though I can’t corral my thoughts and like a true fog is moving through my head. We are not alone and I appreciate this venue for sharing about those problems. I do notice that mild exercise is very helpful to clearing the fog, but sometimes, it just doesn’t go away and it seems to take an eternity to get something done.

May 2, 2011 at 9:38 am
(10) KAL says:

One interesting variable is that many doctors prescribe medications for fibro and ME/CFS that enhance sleep yet the cognitive difficulties remain.

Interestingly another piece of the puzzle is that qEEG studies show such patients are “thinking” using not alpha and beta waves which is the norm, but rather low theta waves (associated with meditation) and delta waves (associated with deep sleep and comas).

May 3, 2011 at 2:00 am
(11) Rebecca says:

Source please? I’m not claiming you’re wrong. But am interested in reading what research has shown that we may be thinking with theta and delta waves. I hadn’t heard that before.

May 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm
(12) KAL says:

No, I’m not wrong. :D

The father of qEEG testing is Dr. Frank Duffy Director, Developmental Neurophysiology, Dept of Neurology, Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School and he is doing some huge studies with ME/CFS patients per his presentation at the IACFS conference in ’09.

As well, Dr. Charles Lapp sends all his patient to Myra Preston in Charlotte N.C. It is particularly helpful to patients who are applying for disability.

Testing is most informative when patients wired for the qEEG are then given cognitive testing such as digits backwards or other objective testing that shows both fibromyalgia patients and patients with ME/CFS have cognitive dysfunction.

Some researchers believe the use of antidepressants can mask the brainwave activity so if you take any you need to ask if it will affect your testing.

May 2, 2011 at 10:21 am
(13) Esther says:

I’ve wondered if I could have narcolepsy because it feels like I could be falling asleep for brief times…or losing consciousness.

So this rings true to me.

May 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm
(14) weeroo says:

That’s me, hoping I don’t kill someone while driving. Usually I get a little warning like literally nodding off and the jerk of head wakes me up in traffic or in front of computer at work. Like I am so tired I am easily hypnotised by roads, etc.? Sometimes a 1 hour drive takes me 2-3 hours because of all the naps I have to take in parking lots.

May 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(15) Carolyn says:

I can totally relate, I sometimes think I had a stroke that messed up my brain and how it works. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and on c-pap. I can’t understand why I am so tired all the time and like lots of others I fall asleep alot especially on the computer. I know the Fibro is an awful syndrome and I do pray one day soon they can crack this like they did with our dna.

May 8, 2011 at 8:51 am
(16) debra g says:

I wanted to reply to this. I spent a year in brain fog. It was embarrassing and dangerous. I almost fell asleep driving several times. OK there was no almost. it would be a brief blank. I would fall asleep during meetings. I had to have a nap to get through the day. I don’t mean a 20 snooze but at least an hour.

I finally saw a dr. I have a vit, B deficiency. My body can not properly process or retain vit. B. I now take a shot every 2 weeks. Believe me I know when it is time for that next shot.

My brain was fuzzy. I couldn’t think. I was tired. I couldn’t concentrate. All because of one vit.

May 3, 2011 at 9:58 am
(17) Patricia says:

sounds about right to me, I have both CFS and fibro , and have been sleep deprived for over 20 years,which started when i started menopause. I now take a medication for the pain of fibro & sleeplessness, which helps me get more sleep, than before, . But, i still get those dah moments, usually when i am reacting to something, as i have environmental illness & MCS as well. which started in my mid 20′s, when i started with a headache from my husbands after shave, til now, when anything with smell, even natural smells like foods, grass, flowers, . It makes life very difficult, as i am sure you’s already know.

May 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm
(18) Debbie says:

I’m highly sensitive to smells too. It causes me a lot of problems, one major one is that my husband smokes. He does it outside, but it’s not a lot of help. The smell is very nauseating. It’s hard to be close to someone who’s odor makes you sick to your stomach. Another example is my Mom’s perfume. I finally had to ask her to please not wear her perfume around me, at least sooo much of it. It was hard for me to do, to tell her in essence… Mom, I get sick when I’m around you. I didn’t want to have to say anything. But it was a real problem for me, Mom bathes in perfume.

May 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(19) Rachelle says:

This makes a lot of sense; that’s sure how it feels!

On a related note, are people familiar with the study: “The effects of sodium oxybate on clinical symptoms and sleep patterns in patients with fibromyalgia”? (J Rheumatol 2003 May). Fibro is associated with the sleep phenomenon of alpha intrusion and low growth hormone secretion. Sodium oxybate increases slow-wave sleep and GH secretion. Sodium oxybate is a DATE RAPE DRUG, and therefore EXTREMELY closely guarded by the FDA. Currently only approved for Narcolepsy (making it an orphan drug and wildly expensive (~$3k/mo)), it is dispensed by a national pharmacy. I was told the FDA failed to approve it for fibro (or to pursue other studies) because they don’t want it in general circulation to a larger population (and there are lots of us with fibro and cfs). This is a hugely serious drug, and I can see their concern. On the other hand, it’s been literally 20 years since I woke up and felt rested and my brain barely functions most of the time. The idea that this drug might allow a restful sleep is… well, it’s the holy grail for us, isn’t it?!

May 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(20) Tony Mach says:

I have what I called “Brain Freezes” and “Mind Blanks”. I was in a complicated discussion and I was following (somehow, like the “rush-hour drive” mentioned above), without thoughts of my own, and somebody asks me something and I can’t think of anything. My mind is completely blank and I have trouble even acknowledging the question. This lead to some trouble for me, because nobody believed me, they thought I refused to answer on purpose.

As well, I sometimes can do nothing but stare. No thoughts, no nothing, just eyes defocused and staring. It takes a bit to focus myself, to concentrate, to do something then. My mind then feels like going through a city by car and all the roads are congested, everything is slow, I have to choose different routes, drive through unknown streets, and so on. I get through eventually, if I don’t give up, but I am used to the roads being free…

May 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm
(21) Sue W-B says:

Tony, it’s as if you can read my mind. I have exactly the same things happening and find myself staring off into the distance, or unable to think or respond to questions. It’s worse if I’m in a situation like at a funeral or wedding or some other event with a lot of distraction and activities going on around me. I lose focus, can’t hear or speak, and feel as if I just became a mannequin or some kind of statue. It’s so embarrassing and when I can’t think of well-known words, I cringe. I used to have great verbal communication skills. Now I could cry when I think of how much I’ve lost.

May 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm
(22) Debbie says:

I sure do relate to this, it’s me exactly! I could have typed these very symptoms, every single one. I hope they find a cure to help us.

May 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm
(23) cindy says:

I feel like an idiot most of the time. I go blank or can’t think of a word. A “friend” of my once said I can’t believe you have a graduate degree. Why do I remember that?

May 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm
(24) Rachelle says:

I remember only the most humiliating of those experiences. Like the time I forgot how an elevator worked. Luckily I was with a very dear friend. The empty elevator arrived and I was perplexed and asked him “how did it know to come if there’s no one inside?” (yes I was the one who had pushed the button)… also on a 1st date and I forgot that Bob was short for Robert. So when Robert told me I could call him Bob, I (humiliatingly) asked him if it was his middle name. It only lasts until I see the incredulous look on their face and then my brain catches up – but not fast enough that I can pretend it was a joke. I forget whole conversations and all kinds of things, but I’m so panicked and horrified by the worst examples, that they are ironically now etched in my memory.
Unfortunately we can’t pick what we have ‘temporary amnesia” about — I think I’d want to blank-out any memories of that so-called “friend”! What a hurtful thing to say.

May 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm
(25) Anne Dyer says:

I lost contact today, in fact, in the middle of conversation. Sometimes, I think it is distraction. Other times, I just seem to go out-like I am shorted out and sometimes I can’t pick back up.
Then there is the coma-type sleep. Oh, it is frightening. When I wake or come to I don’t know what is going on and I feel panic sometime. I am in relapse or something right now and I sleep 14 to 16 hours a day. Don’t know whether to eat breakfast, lunch
or dinner or just snack when I have a wakeful time.
Does anyone know about cortisol levels and stomach fat?

May 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm
(26) Karen says:

@ Cindy-I think we tend to remember the stuff that is most disturbing or humiliating! I know I do!
I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry reading some of this stuff, as I’ve been afraid that I was getting Alzheimer’s (my mom has dementia, and is in care). I’ve had Panic Disorder, Depression, and ADD prior to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and worked in Social Services full time until 2009, when my dad died. I’ve heard that a trauma can sometimes make Fibro symptoms worse. That seems to be true for me!
I feel so overwhelmed most of the time, and it’s embarrassing to forget what I’m saying, or forget a common word that’s on the tip of my tongue, or how to do a simple task! People look at you like you’re nuts! And I always had excellent verbal and writing skills, too! Even people that know you can be so insensitive. I’ve had no income in three years, and am looking at losing the house I’m living in. I’m applying for disability, but know how long that process can be, as I helped others get it as part of my former job. I’m single, so I have no one to rely on for security. It’s very scary.

May 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm
(27) Cindy says:

Karen,
I know how hard it is. my Father just died a couple months ago had dementia and so did his sister. So, the fibo. fog freaks me out as well. I was a Social Worker, so I can relate to that too. I just couldn’t work any more. Do you have a lawyer? I had to get a lawyer to get disability.

May 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm
(28) Trudy says:

I found this article in-line w/ what I’ve discovered myself. By keeping a record, I’ve found there is a direct correlation between my severe brain fog episodes & sleep deprivation. I function at my best w/ 8-9 hrs of sleep nightly. Sometimes a circumstance arises that shortens my night – e.g. last weekend I had a 2 hr sleep night. I pay for short nights for days, but the immediate result is an intense brain fog & severe memory lapses which begin upon awaking & lasts all day. I ‘m unable to carry on conversations because I can’t remember words. I continually lose things & spend hrs looking for them – I look right at the item & don’t recognize it. I lose the ability to plan & think ahead. When doing repetitious work, like driving, I can space out for miles, then “come to” & wonder how I got there. My judgment is clouded – makes it difficult to decide whether to pull out in front of a car or not. I totally lose track of time, often for 30 to 60 min. Once I left to go to the store while food was cooking on the stove. I returned an hr later to find my house full of smoke, dinner ruined, & my glass stovetop bonded to the pan. Fortunately it didn’t burn our house down. I consistently have similar types of experiences whenever I have a sleepless night, so I’ve proven to myself that sleep is a major factor. I still have milder less dangerous memory lapses, brain fog etc on a daily basis.

May 5, 2011 at 5:52 am
(29) Cheryl says:

my brain is asleep much more often than awake. I forget where im going, when/if I remember, I forget why I was going there. that is just one.example. I feel like a complete idiot all the time

May 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm
(30) Teri Witt says:

I have suffered from both of these ailments…along with sleep apnea. Unfortunately I feel that I have already paid a high price for the problems associated with these disorders. I have tried many things, including medication, but I feel like the life is slowly flowing from me. No energy, constant pain, and the inability to concentrate long enough to get through the newspaper. I am glad that attention is being paid to these things because I know some people do not believe in fibro or CFS…I say, “you are truly blessed if you have none of these issues.”

May 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm
(31) cheryl says:

My biggest problem with brain fog is when I’m grocery shopping. My husband can tell when I get overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. Sometime’s he can snap me out of it just by talking to me, but other time’s he will finish what we are doing, and I tag along like I am cluless to why we are even there. trying to come up with idea’s for meal’s while shopping is a big problem, it is overload. If I stick to a list, I can handle it so much better……most of the time.

May 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(32) Sue W-B says:

RIGHT!! Grocery shopping is so hard now. Everything is different. Showering is more confusing. I forget to wash my hair at times. Cooking is harder, I have been burning things. I never used to have that problem. It’s hard to fry an egg without burning it. I think I’ve turned the flame down, but instead I have turned it up. With my boyfriend’s electric stove, I keep turning on the wrong burners. When I need to buy clothes, I am so overwhelmed that I just walk aimlessly around the store in a daze. I avoid doing things because I just feel like I’ll screw it up. Oh what happened to my life??? I was never this way before…

May 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm
(33) april says:

I feel like a little kid again, my boyfriend has basically had to take over the whole household because if not I might do something silly. I can’t pay the bills or do the shopping or housework because I cannot concentrate on any tasks any more. My fibro Fog keeps me in a constant daze. I wander around the house now like my 2and a half year old son. I cannot work any longer and my language skillsare so bad that when I speak most of my words get jumbled up or I repeat myself.
I feel hopeless most of the time and in pain. My mother has Fibromyalgia too but we live at different parts of the country so we both do not have any support. It is a lonely world when you have Fibro and not even your Doctors completely understand you.
At least we have this place ladies, take care. I will be sending out good thoughts for all of you,April

May 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm
(34) Jenny says:

Brain frog makes it really hard to compose my thoughts in writing, an activity that I used to be really good at. Now, I have a hard time organizing my thoughts, and then having the concentration & energy to get them written/typed before they’re gone!

May 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(35) Amber says:

There a recall element that I noted on bad days too. I can lose entire days in my memory if I was having “one of the those days”. When a family members tries to prompt my memory with events, it is as if I am reaching into a void that never happened. It is very frustrating not only for me but for those sharing life with me (at 32).

May 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(36) Rita Gutierrez says:

It’s so very true! It just sound like me (I have fibromyalgia) I was worried that I might have alzheimer desease. What a relief.

Someone out there could tell me if ever experience intolerance to heat. I have a bad problem with that I once read that this is another symptom fibromyalgia.

May 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm
(37) Amber says:

Rita
Heat and humidity especially the later are huge triggers for me, and many of my friends. Extreme cold, of course, but humidity, ugh…immediate pain, and brain fog.

May 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm
(38) Connie says:

Yes, I am also having problems with any warm to hot temps. I will wake up sweating even in a cool room if I have too many clothes on. Also, when I am outside when the temps are above 75, I get so hot that my hair gets wet and I feel as if I’ve been exerting myself. It drains any energy I might have had.

May 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm
(39) indigo says:

Hi Rita, I have an intolerance to heat. Im in Australia so we are heading towards our winter – thank goodness.

I hate summer as I cant do very much. Not only do I “overheat” but if I spend any time out in the hot weather or in the summer sun, I either have a fibro flare or certain muscles ache for days.

May 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm
(40) Jill says:

Ditto with the staring-sometimes it freaks people out. One person said it was like I was staring a hole through her, but my brain was just asleep and I wasn’t even aware of the locked stare.

When the brain fog lifts for a little bit, it’s so incredible and when it returns it’s so disheartening. Forgetting the most basic things is embarrassing or people think I’m an airhead if they don’t understand it.

May 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm
(41) Rachelle says:

I totally relate to the embarrassment of having people think I’m an airhead or just stupid. I’ve been unable to work for 14 years now. Before that I was an International Project Manager at a major software company where I made my living juggling many balls at once and using written and verbal communication skills with the management team and engineers, etc. — now I am lucky if I can get a simple sentence out without loosing my train of thought (such as it is) and without stuttering (it’s like I’m never sure of what’s going to come out of my mouth). I can’t imagine my old life any more or how I managed it. Now I *am* slow-witted and terribly inarticulate. It makes me really sad that most my friends didn’t know the ‘real’ me who existed before this illness. I treasure the old friends who know I wasn’t born a moron, even if I sound like one now.

Re: grocery shopping — I am very grateful for online grocery shopping w/ delivery (Peapod.com) because I can’t physically do a shopping (in addition to the brainfog overwhelm of stores). I buy everything I can over the web. I’m mostly housebound and live alone. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to be this disabled pre-internet. I depend on it!

May 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm
(42) Jo says:

I started to type my comment here when my dog barked, distracting me and I have forgotten what I wanted to say!!!

I had to leave my job as an assistant manager of a store when I could no longer remember how to do the routine paperwork, bookkeeping reports and even on some days how to work the cash register! I was not sleeping well at the time. I do have better sleep more of the time now but only if I take sleep meds.

I recently had a QEEG done, also called brain mapping,in able to start neurofeedback treatments. The Dr. commented that he was surprised I could sleep at all with my brain running at the mghz recorded.

Has anyone else tried neurofeedback for their fibro?

May 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm
(43) Sandra says:

Yes, I had neurofeedback for 18 treatments and would do more if the money was there. I also have a friend with CFS who does this and it helps her also. It is not a cure. The woman I took treatments from has fibromyalgia and is able to work on her own schedule now but does do tune-ups periodically. It is the one treatment I would recommend to everyone dealing with the problems we all have. I am not able to work but, depending on the severity of your symptons, there could be hope there.

May 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm
(44) Jo says:

Thanks for the info. I have had 11 treatments and I think it is helping. The Dr. has suggested I have 5 more and then tune-ups if needed. I have recently stopped taking Cymbalta and My Dr. and I are hoping that I have improved enough from the neuro treatments that I won’t need to take an antidepressent. I have what is called antidepressent poop-out, they help for a while and then stop working. Also suffer from some pretty bad side effects from the SNRI’s which has affected my health. I have had fibro since I was 20, I’m 60 now and I think neuro has been the best treatment for me.

May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm
(45) Kathy C says:

Neurofeedback, done with a competent neurofeedback therapist, can be very helpful for fibro. Getting the right brain frequencies to respond appropriately to various situations (slower frequencies for resting, meditation and sleep; faster frequencies for concentration, decision-making, conversations, etc) is the key. It can take a while to get the brain re-trained, but once you can do it, it can make a lot of difference in how you feel and function.

Good for you in pursuing this avenue, and best of luck!

May 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm
(46) Kathy says:

Momentary brain freeze happened to me last week when I was taking part in a trivia contest. I missed an easy translation of two words from English into a foreign language because I know one word and automatically put in a second unrelated word. I also repeated part of the question instead of giving the correct answer, which I knew perfectly well. Anxiety + sleep deprivation = brain problems for sure.

Here’s an interesting thought: Yesterday I went with some friends to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Maio. I knew that most of the food on the menu was on the avoid list my doctor recently gave me after running a specialized allergy test. This was the first time I had strayed from his recommendations. Halfway through the meal, I lost all mental sharpness and concentration. It lasted several hours after the meal and will probably not clear up for a day or two. I drove home slowly and carefully and stayed in the rest of the day. This was quite different from the previous week’s momentary “brain freeze.” I am blessed to have this doctor who uses cutting edge tests and treatments and who has gotten me up off the sofa to be able to function when I am not sleeping the extended hours I need to recover from my daily activities. I know I spent years in that fuzzy-headed state wishing I could find a way to feel better. But the test is not accepted by mainstream doctors, is not covered by insurance and is very, very restrictive. So it goes…

May 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm
(47) Sally Rhodes says:

I have had Fibromyalgia and CFS for 10 years, and definitely have had periods of brain fog–even causing a car accident once. It really does help to hear other stories of people’s experiences.

May 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm
(48) Lori says:

I have fibro, cfs, AND narcolepsy. Blanking out for periods of time while doing monotonous activities only to “wake up” and realize that your body kept functioning while your mind was asleep is called automatic behavior. It is common in narcolepsy. I teach first grade and would find myself reading a story only to suddenly realize that I didn’t know what I was saying. I know that sounds weird…but I’d look at the kids and they’d be looking back at me like everything I was saying made perfect sense. It is the strangest thing to feel that way. A sleep study may give you another explanation. I feel the “fog” at times too but it’s different than the complete realization that you don’t even know what you’re doing.

May 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm
(49) Rachelle says:

Lori, if you haven’t seen it already, you might be interested in the study “The effects of sodium oxybate on clinical symptoms and sleep patterns in patients with fibromyalgia”? (J Rheumatol 2003 May) which I mentioned in the 3rd comment above.

It’s hugely expensive *unless* insurance covers it. And insurance would only cover it for its FDA-approved purpose, which is Narcolepsy.

May 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm
(50) Barb says:

Are parts of our brains falling asleep or is it the loss of grey matter and premature aging of the brain? It is more comforting to believe that it is the former.

May 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm
(51) kathe says:

I can empathize with much of what Rachelle writes. It’s just beginning to reach these proportions for me-losing track in the middle of a sentence, not recognizing people I know, etc. I’ve had insomnia for 30 years and now mostly “skim” sleep. Almost always, for 30 years, I sleep from 3 or 4 to 5 and on rare nights 6 hours a night. I”m really tired! The nights I get 6 hours I feel almost normal. So I’m sure all this is related to sleep and sleep quality. I can be awakened at any time and relate all the crazy dreaming I’m doing. And I remember the wild dreams for days.

I don’t have apnea but do have the usual FM sinus problems and must get propped up in bed to sleep without post nasal throat closing up. Xyrem would be a dream come true to make me sleep soundly,but I’m afraid I would have one of those can’t breathe episodes when ny sinuses fill and not wake up. (I’ve had several hospital sleep studies and the neurologist head of university clinic tells me I only need to organize my sleep hours properly. He apparently doesn’t understand FM/sinus/poor restorative sleep .)

I’m also in the small FM population that doesn’t tolerate sleeping medication (natural or chemical) or antidepressants.

I welcome anyone’s ideas!! (Boy did I go on. Sorry.)

May 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm
(52) Rachelle says:

Kathe, OMG I can’t imagine facing the horrible sleep with no sleep meds, you poor thing! I need varying amount of meds depending on what I do each day (i.e. effort/stimulation levels) and when I get it wrong, I ‘skim-sleep’ as you so accurately put it.

I’m just starting out with a sleep neurologist, and she insisted I get a “Late” sleep study (they don’t kick out out at 7am), because (due to not working and being sick) I’m on a late sleep schedule, and cutting my natural sleep time off to fit the lab’s schedule wouldn’t allow her to see my deepest sleep. I mention this because a friend who’s been going to sleep doctors for years (and also struggles with late schedules and weird sleep hours) has never found a doc who would order a late study… and they end up blaming his ‘sleep hygiene’ instead of acknowledging a complex health problem and studying his actual (late morning) sleep patterns. I mention this just in case it might help.

I have allergies and sinus congestion and voluminous post nasal drip. In the last year or so I started 2 nose sprays – Fluticasone Propionate (Flonase) to clear swelling of sinus/nasal membranes, and Ipatropium Bromide (Atrovent) to stop/cut down the PND. It’s been a miracle for me, because it used to be like having a cold and having trouble breathing and now I breathe fine as long as I remember to take them. I sometimes use Benedryl to augment my sleep meds on a really bad day, and that also helps me, but I’m guessing you probably can’t take that if you can’t take sleep meds…? I hope you find something that helps!!

May 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm
(53) kathe says:

Rachelle–thanks for your response. I use Flonase on occasion (doesn’t it taste and smell yucky?) and nasonex every night (it’s getting quite expensive) and the neti pot after dinner every night (too close to bedtime and the sinuses/ears don’t clear enough).Maybe it’s time to change to your sprays. I really appreciate your comments about a late study. I did do a day time study for narcolepsy, but it was a disaster with too much noise in the next bedroom, and after an unusual but not unheard of sinus blocking wake up for breath one night recently, I was afraid to try for Xyrem again. After so many years of insomnia, I now don’t go to bed until I”m exhausted–between 2-3:30 am and sleep fitfully untii around 9 if I”m lucky. It’s the least traumatic insomnia I’ve had in years but not enough restorative rest.

I’m still chairing and running a lot of events and committees, but it’s getting more and more difficult with increasing brain fog..Thank you again for your supportive note.

I find the less sleep I have, the more brain fog and the faster I talk, like my brain moniter has gone to sleep. Do you fine that?

May 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm
(54) Debbie says:

I take a Xanax at night and a 3 mg Melatonin. Usually it helps me sleep somewhat better but not always. There are some nights that I don’t sleep at all. Then my body reacts to fatigue or crashes with terrible nausea. When I’m exhausted, whether mentally or physically, it literally makes me sick. I’ve never had much luck with any antidepressents, either they don’t work or the side effects are bad.

May 6, 2011 at 8:05 pm
(55) Cecelia says:

I’ve gone blank often for as long as I’ve had CFS, for 15 years. I tried neurofeedback years ago. EEGs were taken and the therapist thought my results were very unusual. She said I was having Delta waves coming up from the back of the brain to the front when I was supposedly awake. The brain is supposed to inhibit those. I wondered if that accounted for the “potholes” of consciousness I would have, like blackouts, only minus any alcohol or drugs. One of the troubling ways these would manifest was while driving. I would come to, maybe 10 mins or even a half hour down the road, past my exit. I gather my automatic driving was okay, but I couldn’t deal with any change in the route requiring thought.

May 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(56) Colleen says:

I don’t think I could have described it better. The way I explain it to people who inquire as to what it feels like, I say it’s like my brain slows down and shuts off. I also add, it’s like that moment when you wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t think or focus on what’s going on and where you are. I truly think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a neurological issue.

May 7, 2011 at 12:34 am
(57) Patty says:

It’s very interesting to read these comments because I “see” myself in so many ways. Do very many of you have the “luxury” of sleeping 10-12 hrs. a day? If so, do others ridicule you? I find it very difficult to try to keep up with a “normal” person in a relationship ~ it’s fatiguing. I get “chastised” for not getting a lot done in a day’s time (not at work ~ I don’t work anymore). I have the fibro fog, forgetting simple words and needing help with what I’m trying to say.

May 7, 2011 at 11:29 am
(58) Jay says:

It feels so good to know that I’m not alone with these issues! How wonderful it is to have other people that understand that we are not just “crazy and lazy”.

One of the things I’ve noticed about my brain fog is that it gets much worse with anxiety. So anything that that helps my fears and anxieties can also reduce some the fog.

Best wishes to you all.

May 7, 2011 at 11:55 am
(59) Junior Moment says:

I call my “brain fog” “JUNIOR MOMENTS” since I am 40 years old. The elderly call theirs “senior moments” which we totally can relate!! As we all know, “BRAIN FOG” is one of the worst symptoms of Fibro & CFS!! We need our brain to be working top notch 16 hours of the day to deal with life these days. Unfortunately, dysfunction in our brain makes everyday activities very, very difficult!! It is our computer chip and very vital to us physically, mentally, emotionally, and also financially! With it working some of the time all areas of life is very, very, complicated to manage and control!!! I, too, feel incompetent, unwise, a slow learner, and sometimes downright “stupid”, etc. Before “fibro” I had no problems with my cognition and climbing up the corporate ladder. Now I don’t even think I can handle working @ McDonald’s, Burger King, etc. I wish the CDC would speed up the research so we can finally have the 1st medication or medications to treat “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”!!! There are medications to treat “Fibromyalgia” which mask the “real problem” and do not manage the ugly, monsterous disease…. We have other medications for other diseases why not CFS????

May 7, 2011 at 11:57 am
(60) hilary says:

OMG its so nice to hear other folk with ME are haveing the same problems as me, not nice you have them though!! Ditto to all of the above except the sinus’s. I’ve had ME for over 4 yrs now not long as many of you, I was a staff nurse and competed horses so felt fairly capable but now…………I don’t see hardly anyone, my choice as I never know how I’m going to feel from one day to the next so making plans is a no no, my funniest “episode” was going to a Russian Circus and my husband wanted to buy me a russian doll, they were beautiful but I said I only wanted one and was very emphatic about it as it would be too much dusting, the lady selling them kept saying you have to buy them all, so I pointed to one behind her and said I’ll have that one, where she proceeded to open it up to 5 other dolls DOH!! I’d totally forgotten they fitted inside them selves. My way of coping is to just let it be and tell folk I can’t talk, walk out of shops no answering phones etc till I know I can manage it. I have 4 dogs and we all doss on the settee together, I just have to accept that I will muck up recording programmes, spoil the cooking, drive with a flat tyre etc, I thought I was getting Alzheimers but then have the occasional good day, when I’ve managed some decent sleep. I wish you all better days and keep praying for a solution for all of us

May 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm
(61) Debbie says:

I have a terrible time with my memory, esp short-term, it’s just non-existent so often. My communication is getting worse, worse, worse… I would rather crawl in a hole anymore than try to talk. My husband helps me remember what I was starting to say and helps me with words that are blanked out that I can’t for the life of me get out. But when I try to talk to people I don’t know, it’s just so embarrassing as I stumble around with my dysfunctional brain. I watch people and they look at me with a baffled look as I try to talk, it sounds pretty unintelligible at times.

My husband is mostly understanding of my brain fog but at times it tries his patience, and his frustration with it tumbles out. It’s then that I… have to be patient with HIM, knowing what he has to deal with in me, it really is a 2-way street in the fog patience.

I’ve had this for 13 yrs, my fatigue and brain fog are my hardest issues to deal with. I used to feel competent and intelligent, now I’d rather hide. I’d love to find out the answer to my biggest question… Really, Really, What DID happen to my brain?? It’s hard to accept this condition, it is discouraging, even after 13 yrs. People who don’t believe in this illness… have never experienced it. No one would “choose” these struggles.

May 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm
(62) lama says:

well,my terrible problem with brain fog appers during driving the car,i feel that i can’t determine the directions of the other cars drived around me,i can’t also keep my brain alert for anyone passes suddenly in front of me,i feel that i’m sleeping while my eyes are still opening but a sudden shut down of my brain occurs…if anyone recommends me a useful method to limit this terrible prblem i’ll be appreciated.

May 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(63) delere says:

Sounds just like what I do.

About 8-9 years ago I had a sleep study (all night and all day) done to try and figure out why I couldn’t get any decent sleep. Unexpectedly the doctor discovered I had narcolepsy. This was a total surprise, but it fits. All those symptoms can be attributed to narcolepsy.

I really don’t think I had it before the car accident and fibro even though the doctor said it’s something you’re born with (I’m sure that’s what he was taught in school). I functioned just fine before.

There is so much we don’t understand about the brain. I think many things can change in the brain due to trauma or chronic stress. The brain is not stagnant as was once believed not long ago.

Interestingly it was the day part of the study that showed narcolepsy. The over night part turned up nothing.

May 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(64) Linda says:

This sounds just like what I go through frequently. It is so upsetting. . . . .however, now I am learning to make a joke of it to whoever it is I’m talking with when it happens. Common these days for me to say. . .”Whoops, Brain Fog just set in, sorry.” Luckily my friends know what I am talking about when I say this and accept that if I can I’ll finish the thought later. If I don’t they understand that too.

May 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm
(65) Rachelle says:

Note about Melatonin: Before, I NEVER felt sleepy before my bedtime drugs kicked in. My doc has had me taking 6mg melatonin at bedtime for years. Recently the sleep neurologist said to move the Melatonin to dinner or 8PM – hours before bed because it doesn’t kick in right away. When I remember to take it at the earlier time, I actually start feeling sleepy between 11-12 – a totally new sensation for me! It helps me get to sleep earlier (with all the other sleep meds of course) and I think I’m somewhat more alert in the morning. That was such a revelation for me, I wanted to pass it on for those who might benefit.

May 10, 2011 at 12:42 am
(66) Valetudinarian says:

I tried SodiumOxybate and felt much more alert the next day. Anything can be abused, IMO. I would assume more innocent people are killed by drunk drivers than those hurt with prescribed Socium Oxybate….

I initiallly thought I had a form of narcolepsy. It is no surprise to me that if the brain is disrupted during so-called sleep, that sleep itself within the brain is also disordred.

Perhaps drugs used for narcolepsy like Provigil will be approved for our disorder.

I forgot that CFS/Fibro used to be called atypical MS.

May 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(67) Mickie says:

I was recently diagnosed with fibromylagia and am so glad to know I’m not alone in my foggy moments. I suspect I’ve had this for about 5 years….. Of all the ‘symptoms’ of fibro, this is the hardest to deal with. I just want my brain back!

May 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(68) Theresa says:

This is me too! In fact, I almost forgot what I wanted to write after I hit the “leave a comment” button! I recently went for a neuropsychological evaluation due to my fibro-fog. It seems like it’s getting worse. Still waiting for the results, but maybe we can get a clue as to what’s going on. A sleep study would be helpful too I think.

Thanks for the article…and I enjoyed reading all the replies too. So informative and good food for thought.

May 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(69) Val says:

I could relate to your story…almost completely. I went on to read all the posts here, ssing that a lot of them could relate. Thank you for the article.

May 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(70) Tammy says:

Lately I have been having double vision. Im not sure if this is another part of FM or brain fog, but it is really scaring me!! I also suffer from severe migraines, and am wondering if there is a connection?? Any one having or have had double vision, please respond!

May 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(71) Rachelle says:

Do you take Lyrica for fibro pain? I have CFS and was on Lyrica for years until recently. During that time I have had increased vision disturbance (like neurological ‘noise’ in my vision which got worse as all my other neuro symptoms got worse). No eye docs could explain. Then I realized that possible side effect of Lyrica is Blurry Vision. I’ve been off for a month and my particular vision problem is not improved (but I think mine is more neurological than Lyrica-caused). Anyway, worth considering if any meds could be causing it.

May 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm
(72) Jackie Casey says:

I still believe that my Fibromyalgia and CFS were caused from the anaethesia I received during surgery I had in 1996. I have said that a part of my brain shut down during the surgery and never woke back up. Then in 2005 I had a procedure that required anaethesia to be used and the doctor was unable to complete the procedure, as he said he had given me three times the normal amount of anaethesia and I was still not out and he was afraid to give me anymore, as he was afraid I would not wake back up. He said he had never seen anything like it, before in his career as a doctor. After that failed procedure my brain was even worse. I thought I was suffering from either dementia or alzheimers, early on, but after years of research I learned of the connection to my fibro & CFS, which was a relief in one way, but still annoying. Before all of this started I was known as the human telephone book and calculator, didn’t hardly ever use either one of them, everything was in my head…but I am lucky now to remember my own phone number. My longtime friends and family know who I was before this maddening dibilitating disorder, but people who are newer acquaintances think I’m a bit loopy, I’m sure, when I space out. Thank God for a wonderful husband who is there to watch over me. I have quit driving, as I am worried about my blank times and my depth perception is totally shot, it’s okay when I bump into walls and doors when I’m walking, but I sure don’t want to run into anything when I am behind the wheel of a car. Like Tammy I experience double vision and migraines, but my migraines are not as bad as they were before I started using Ultram. That is one thing I can be thankful for, as I had sick migraines. God Bless. My prayers are with all of you all, as I know how you feel.

May 11, 2011 at 10:15 am
(73) Michelle says:

Ive had that over and over and I was told they were small seziures

May 23, 2011 at 10:05 am
(74) Maria says:

Bless you Adrienne for this fantastically helpful and reassuring site. I can relate to all the stuff people are writing about: forgetting the thread of what I or someone else is saying, having to read things over and over to register the meaning, not recognising people and staring zombie like trying to say something and unable to speak. Of course people think you are rude, unfriendly or plain stupid. Add the physical weakness, not just “fatigue” which stops me from driving and doing anything much else. But things are much better since starting DHEA (in the morning and afternoon) plus pregnenolone for refreshing sleep and anti-anxiety. Sublingual works best. Am up to 100mg per dose but started with 25mg. Avoiding dairy has improved sinus and breathing problems as well as getting rid of the daily nagging headaches. Tyrosine and acetyl carnitine are also very useful for increased alertness as is fucoidan (seaweed extract: Fucoxanthin) which is great for clearer thinking and energy presumably by regulating blood sugar levels as it stops craving for sweets when taken on empty stomach. Hope this helps. All best.

March 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm
(75) Rhet Wylie says:

I’m an engineer, and I’m going to lose my 3rd job in 3 years because I can’t get my symptoms under control enough to do my job properly.

I have had to work massive amounts of overtime to approach the same productivity level of my 40-50 hour work week peers because sleep does not regenerate my brain correctly anymore.
Shifts of 3pm-6am on sundays is fun.

August 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(76) Krystal says:

Do any of you notice an increase in brain fog symptoms just before your menstrual cycle begins? Two to three days before I start it becomes really sever!

September 9, 2012 at 3:31 am
(77) Georgia says:

I have the same issue, however I think mine may be caused by an iron dificiency which in turn causes fatigue. In the car I feel as though I am on auto pilot. I don’t recall the trip home from work even though I was the person driving. Sometimes I’ll be reading an article and all of a sudden I’ll go into a daze. It feels as though my mind freezes from time to time. It’s hard to explain but I know exactly what you are going through.

December 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm
(78) Jason says:

I was driving my son to his doctor today and for about a minute I had no idea where I was our what I was doing. I knew I was driving I knew how to drive. I was completely awake and functional except for not knowing where I was our where I was going. It almost felt like I was but I knew who I was. I snapped out of it about a minute after it started. This has more than a little concerned.

January 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(79) seira says:

the chem teacher was explaining rates of reactions and whatnot
i was trying to concentrate as hard as i could but my brain feels heavy
and lazy and for some moments the teacher is talking and i feel like as if nothing happened between those moments and when i force myself to snap out of it i have to ask my friends what the hell did she say
its so frustrating and when exams grew closer i start panicking like crazy
i really hope this stops happening otherwise i will surely flunk in every
subject

January 18, 2013 at 2:13 am
(80) Tracy says:

* Check your B12 levels * This might be reversible for some people! Read the book “Could it be B12?”

January 18, 2013 at 2:15 am
(81) Tracy says:

Check your B12 Levels and read “Could it be B12?” — This could all be as simple as that. (for a percentage of people).

January 20, 2013 at 10:37 am
(82) Jeff Keith says:

I’ve had Major brain fog with most of the symptoms stated above.
My dr. diagnosed me with Narcolepsy but said I fall under this because of failing a daytime sleep study, but he is really not sure what is causing it. He has prescribed me the date rape drug, and Adderal. None of this solved the problem. I decide to do a detox (New Life) and eat only fruits vegies fish.(also quit coffee OUCH) All natural stuff. Brain fog went away in about 10 days. So, I though i was ok to go back to my old eating habits. Within a few days I was a foggy mess. I must be alergic to something or am lacking a nutrient. I feel so much better so its worth me sticking with the diet. Life and kids are so much fun now!!!
I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE. If you want to talk to me about this just email jeffjordanjsutin@yahoo.com. Thanks

January 23, 2013 at 3:07 am
(83) jens pierson says:

im afraid i might have a deadly sleep disorder, its been a week now and i cant doze off i just go unconscious and sleep in the light stages even though i do have drams but i cant remember much about them, also for the last two weeks after waking up ill be pretty good for about 20 minutes and then ill get very disoriented and be slightly off balance the rest of the day and lately its gotten more intense at times ill feel like im in a dream state or a tunnel and nothing seems real to me, people seem like there fake beings and ive been to the ER several times for this and have had brain scans and blood tests but the doctors don’t find anything wrong all the times ive been there, and just today i had the weirdest bout of disorientation yet and ended up again in the ER where the doctor said i had a sleep problem, but lately everything has seemed so dream like and unreal, and i cant seem to get into a deep sleep and this has been going on for about one or two weeks now, does this sound like a fatal form of sleep disorder?

January 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm
(84) Bernice Beasley says:

I have fibromyalgia. I don’t talk about it with anyone, because no one understands the immense pain that I feel all the time. I’ve had trouble with my vision changing prescriptions more often than I can afford to buy new glasses. My chest and arms ache all the time and I have restless leg syndrome. I can’t sleep at night and so I never feel fully rested. Lately, I’ve experienced brain fog. I’ll be in the middle of telling a good story and forget simple words. I find myself driving and for a few moments forget where I’m going. Sometimes I don’t remember what day it is. I”m only 23 years old and I’m in college. This semester I am taking Anatomy and Physiology, this class is all about memorization and understanding how the body works. I’m not taking any medications and I do not do any type of drugs and I feel so spaced out and embarrassed that people twice my age can remember things and I can’t. I don’t know what to do and I can never talk to anyone about this problem, because they think fibromyalgia is a lie, but it is very real, very painful, and it’s hard to live in the midst of an ever foggy brain.

February 9, 2013 at 11:07 am
(85) vickie says:

YES, THIS SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE ME. I HAVE R.S.D..12 YEARS NOW. WHEN I AWAKE, I HAVE NO IDEA WHATS GOING ON. IT TAKES ME A COUPLE HOURS TO JUST GET OUT OF THE CHAIR WHILE ON COMPUTER. I LOSE MY WORDS, CAN’T THINK, DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM GOING. AND IT’S A SCARRY THING TO GO THRU. I FEEL LIKE MY BODY IS THERE, BUT THERES NO BRAIN HOOKED UP TO IT.I CANT DRIVE ANYMORE,CANT STAND LONG ENOUGH TO COOK, ALL I DO IS SLEEP..AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN LIKE THIS BEFORE..IT DRIVES ME CRAZY..LITERALY..THAT I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. THIS IS TAKING FOREVER TO WRITE. I AM SO GLAD I FOUND OUT WHATS WRONG, BRAIN FOG..THANK YU.

February 9, 2013 at 11:39 am
(86) VICKIE says:

I AM VICKIE. I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS PAGE AND ALL OF YU. I DIDNT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH ME, NOW I KNOW. {BRAIN FOG}..I HAVE R.S.D. COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME, 12 YEARS NOW. ALL IN LOWER EXTREMITIES. BOTH LEGS AND FEET..I HEARD THAT LADY TALKING ABOUT BURNING FEET. I HAVE THE SAME THING. THE ONLY THING THAT HELPS IS {LIDODERM PATCHES}..YU PUT THEM ON YOUR FEET BEFORE BED. AND THAT SHOULD HELP WITH THE TORCH BURNING YOUR FEET…I EVEN AWOKE LAST NIGHT AND HAD TO ADD A EXTRA ONE TO THE TOP OF FOOT. YU CAN CONTACT ME AT, panheadvic@q.com thanks for this group. vic

February 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm
(87) Jeremy R says:

Lately my brain has been processing things wrong. For example, someone told me that #1 was Tina’s phone, #2 was Brooke’s phone, and #3 was home phone.
What i am still convinced I heard was #2 was Tina’s phone, #3 was brooke’s phone.

Also, my teacher said that one thing was in the left channel, and another was in the right ( I am an audio student). My brain recorded that backwards so the whole time what i was listening to was actually opposite of what though.

Also, a while back there were two different posters while i bought one. While the guy handed me the one i bought, my brain saw him handing me the other one so i told him thats not the one i wanted, as i pointed to the other one (which i saw it then what it was supposed to be) and looked back at the one he was handing me and it was then what it was supposed to be…

Could this be an example of sleep deprived brain, or something else?

February 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(88) annette says:

My problem is that when I am talking and excited about what I am saying I have to ask the person whom I am talking with what I was saying because i lose track of the beginning of the conversation and how I was leading to result it. Ugh!!! this keeps happening to me and I think it is a big problem. I think I am over stressed or something else. I have noticed this happening more with people whom I trust not to tell anyone what has happened but it is embarassing. Any suggestions or comments?

March 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm
(89) kaye says:

Same here, most of the time I blank out.
Do you know what specialist/physician where I can consult about this?

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April 17, 2013 at 8:41 am
(91) rayna says:

I was bowling in my league on Sunday. In the middle of the 2nd game, I got up to bowl and when I went to bowl, my body would not work with in conjunction with my brain. I simply did not know how to walk and throw the ball. I went back and tried it again, I willed myself to bowl and talked to myself and finally threw the ball down the lane. I looked ridiculous and was very embarrased. Is this normal?

May 1, 2013 at 1:03 am
(92) Kat says:

Oh, great. Something else fibro does…but I have to admit, I’m glad to know the episodes of mental blackout are being caused by something other than a mini-stroke. I have noticed they only occur when I am tired, usually from not sleeping well the night before. If I have managed to sleep good, I don’t get the mental gaps. And yes, it is kind of scarey when they occur while driving.

May 22, 2013 at 12:53 am
(93) Dana says:

All of you just answered the question “What is dissociation?”
Dissociation is normal under certain circumstances, such as completely forgetting driving home. Everyone has dissociation to a degree, but they are not bothered by it. Disruptive dissociation such as during a conversation is usually caused by anxiety or pain. Especially chronic anxiety or pain.

tl; dr “It’s just dissociation.”

July 13, 2013 at 10:29 am
(94) Summer Peterson says:

I have a question about fibro(brain) fog.. My doctor is in the middle of determining if I have fibromayalgia. I am really really tired all the time at work or home. While I’m watching tv or on the computer, or just trying to have some quiet time to myself writing I start to go into a haze but as I am in my haze I am still trying to do a task either write or still try to focus on the tv but I just can’t force myself to complete’the task. Next, I either drift off or blackout like I’m sleeping. It’s very odd for me to be in a conversation over the phone with a friend then all of sudden blackout and then wake up in distress because I don’t know what’s going on or why I just all of a sudden black out to sleep. But it’s only that bad while I’m at home. If I’m at work I go into a daze and get coonfused and frustrated because I know I was supposed to do something and I can’t remember what it was. Also, I’ve noticed that I continously now repeat out load to myself everything trying to make sure that I do not forget my tasks that I must complete at work especially if I am required to multi-task. But I do not blackout when I am at work so I’m very lucky so far it’s just happening at home. After explaining everything about my situation my question is are the blckouts of time that I’m having ((sleeping or whatever you might want to call it))classified as fibro fog??

July 17, 2013 at 11:11 am
(95) Noname says:

You guys sound like u have derelization and depersonlization

July 20, 2013 at 12:05 am
(96) pixie preet says:

my mind got shut whn smone talking to me …. it got all blank aftr few sec whn i cm to wrld i dont know anything wt he said …. i feel like irritating n embrnce ….. i dont hv any body pain or headace …. wt is my prob …. i so cnfuse .

August 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm
(97) Chris s says:

I have that problem with conversation I just start them and its like I forget we’re I was going with the conversation, but this is what I don’t get I’m a mechanic I often take something apart such as a engine to bits leave the bolts and nuts in a box for weeks evan been 2 months but I’m able to put everything back together without leavening or forgetting we’re something goes but why carnt I keep a conversation going?

August 8, 2013 at 12:11 am
(98) make 10 k dollars says:

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August 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm
(99) Mark says:

Wow, what an eye opener. I’ve had brain fog for over a year and I’m in a highly technical field. I’ve been in the middle of briefings and everything goes blank. I can’t even think of my name or a simple word to say. I’ve been in the middle of phone calls describing something technical and everything goes blank, and all i could do was sit there and hang up until I could think again. I thought I was losing my mind on my way to dementia of worse. I do have a hard time sleeping more than a few hours at a time.

August 15, 2013 at 1:46 am
(100) LaQuesha says:

Yes I feel the same way, just the other day someone was giving me their email address and they had to give it to me three times, it’s like my brain wasn’t catching up with my writing it’s embarrassing, also I can’t read as well as I once could or pronounce words like I once could like a year or two ago, also I have lost several jobs because I couldn’t get myself out of bed on time, I only have a few good days were I actually have energy to get things done unfortunately they don’t last all week which is why I get fired I literally can’t get out of bed some mornings it happens like 2 days out of the week. It has interfered with my job with daily important tasks that I need to handle that I don’t because I am too tired. Like for example going to the Doc to talk to counselor to get my meds refilled I haven’t even done that yet luckily my mom takes the same medicine and dosage otherwise I would had to make myself go. I wait to clean up or do dishes for like 2 weeks and I am so tired of this…. I need something that will help me cope or a cure please help!!!

August 22, 2013 at 7:50 am
(101) Phil says:

PLEASE HELP……I went to bed about 10:00, I guess I woke up around 11:00, got on my computer and had a conversation with a friend. I don’t remember anything about it. I read the whole conversation the next morning and still don’t remember it. What could this be??? It’s really got me down. I had a really stressful day at work. Could that be the reason? I’m so afraid this might happen when I’m driving. I don’t want to hurt anyone….THANK YOU!!

August 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm
(102) Roger says:

Anyone with brain fog, mental exhaustion, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, should have their thyroid checked! I suffered with gradual increasing brain fog and times of being very tired, even after plenty of sleep, for 7 years. And during that time I already had been diagnosed with Hashimotos hypothyroidism, and was taking levothyroxine to treat it. But during all that time, I didn’t realize I was not taking enough! I thought as long as my TSH levels were below 5 then that couldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t until this year that I tried taking higher doses of levothyroxine, getting my TSH below 1.0, that I finally started to feel whole again! My mental stamina is back and I don’t feel daytime sleepiness hardly anymore. And my sleep is getting better. I was having an increasing number of wake ups during the night, but now I’m starting to notice an improvement with this too. Get your thyroid TSH checked. If it’s above 2.0, I would tell your doctor you want to try levothyroxine, especially if you’ve struggled for years like me and never found a solution. I hope this helps!

September 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm
(103) lina says:

I do this a lot when im driving I have almost got into a wreck several times

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(104) Cecilia says:

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September 20, 2013 at 11:17 am
(105) Annette says:

I never thought of a thyroid as being the culprit, but I nod off and sometimes can’t remember what I did before I actually nodded off. My husband is very concerned, says I’m scaring him, but it scares me too. Time to have blood work done for the thyroid.

Just last night after he left for work, I drifted off for a few minutes and couldn’t remember him leaving. He said I stood at the door and told him bye. Scary stuff for sure. The thyroid never even entered my mind. I’m over 50, so that could be it. My grandmother had Alzheimer disease and of course that’s is first and foremost on my mind.

October 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm
(106) Linda says:

This is me. I have narcolepsy and Fibromyalgia. My head blanks and jerks uncontrollably while my head is jerking I cannot spit my words out it is like I all of a sudden stutter. The head jerking is getting worse and worse. I first thought it was just the cataplexy from my narcolepsy but if it was then it should affect my whole body not just my head.can anyone please help me to understand this?? Thank U and God Bless

October 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm
(107) Camila says:

You may be experiencing absence seizures. Seizures are not always what appears on tv shows sometimes you just blank out completely and your brain shuts down. See a doctor.

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(108) sarah says:

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November 13, 2013 at 8:48 am
(109) HMY says:

I drive for a living , have chronic Epstein Barr syndrome & for over 5 year was breathing CO fumes from an exhaust leak in the car. I am now having panick attacks while driving with brain fog brain blankouts for seconds After a recent rush drive, dropped the gas money in garbage & came to, not remembering what I did with it. Don’t sleep well between 3:30 to 4:30 am & my disabled daughter wakes me up at 5am sometimes I am VERY scared I will blank out while driving, but can’t get disability

December 3, 2013 at 9:39 am
(110) Jessica says:

I have always been forgetful losing keys bank catds my id purse wallet forget appointments peoples names what i did a day ago its been being confronted by my boyfriend I’m getting angry and stressed last week i was on my way to pick up my daughter the only place i had to go i ended up on the other side of town no where near her school this happened 3 times in a week an sometimes i don’t remember the trip i just drove it feels like i get so much going on and then my mind is blank then i realize it and think what am i doing should i be worried what is wrong with me??

December 14, 2013 at 3:04 am
(111) CAR says:

Im 32 years old. I have a family and a job. Neither of which i have a clue about what is going on most the time. My conversations go from a-z in seconds. I cant remember wth im talking about, how i get pkaces or what im doing. Im confused all the time anymore. I cant focus. Im going to lose my job if this continues. I fell asleep mid corporate meeting. I pass out throughout t y e day. I hate this. I dont know what to do. Im so humiliated. I ramble and im always lost and confused. I make a joke out of it but it kills me inside. Nothing makes sense anymore…..

December 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm
(112) chahinez lorane says:

i always feel like my brain is not working ; if someone said to me something i don’t understand right away , i stay a few seconds to analyze what he said to me and in school when teachers explain all my friends understand and i don’t
when i try to study at home i can’t concentrate ; i feel tired after a few minutes and the downside of my head hurts and i feel like my eyes are going to pop out , i’m mentally exhausted and i don’t know what to do?

December 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm
(113) Cameron J says:

I talk about random things just before i nod off to sleep. sometimes i believe i have a conversation right before i sleep, however the conversation never happened, yet i answer the unsaid question to who ever i near by.

February 2, 2014 at 9:52 pm
(114) kk says:

This happens to all the time I’m scared because driving home yesterday it happened 3 times. The time I was on the opeside side lane

February 16, 2014 at 2:42 am
(115) Molly says:

This happens to me to but im only 13 i was going to get a drink and a just blanked out my mum knows about this should i go to my gp?

March 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm
(116) Jerry says:

Hi my name is Jerry, I am 66 year old female and I have had a problem staying awake for years, It comes on all of a sudden It happens where ever I am even in the line at the grocery store standing up. Driving , or riding as a passenger. I was on the internet one day and came across a company called Women to Women, I gave them my symptoms and they sent me a herbal pills (Herbal Equilibrium) it is great for brain fog, and clearer thinking, it starts working after 6 weeks of taking it. It is $ 29.00 plus tax and shipping. But I still get so sleepy, I don’t know what to do with that, I do have fibromyalgia among other medical problems, but getting sleepy all the time really bothers me.
Womens Health Network
P.O. Box 306 800-627-0598
Portland me.04112
I hope this helps you.

April 3, 2014 at 8:22 am
(117) Kelly says:

I have been going through this for almost a year. Terrified of driving and never drive out of town, I go into a trance like state and have to repeatedly blink my eyes to stay focused. Lose myself in conversation. Been taking B 12 shots but not helping. Help please!

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