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jayjayuk
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23 May 2014, 9:37 am

I'm not over exaggerating my explanation of this problem. Whenever I learn I fall asleep. I don't know if this is common amongst Autistic people (I know it is amongst those with ADD/ADHD).

The learning could be self study from a book, or videos or in a lecture, or a classroom - although I've not attended a school environment for some years.

It seems to be if I'm enjoying the topic being discussed this is when I fall asleep, as opposed to a boring topic. I've concluded that it's only when I'm learning something I enjoy that it will cause me to sleep. Boring topics don't engage my mind, and don't cause me to feel sleepy.

Today for example I was learning something related to computer programming. I was reading a book and watching a video from Microsoft's Developer Network. I was taking in ever word, taking notes, and then I felt myself yawing. 10 minutes later I was asleep for an hour.

This is not rare or uncommon for this to happen to me. Maybe 7 times out of 10. This happens a lot. Regardless of a good nights sleep, or a good diet, or exercise, this will happen to me.

It's frustrating. There seems to be no way to control it.

All I can think of is my mind is overloaded and processing everything and that is causing me to sleep for some reason.

Does anyone else have this? Or does anyone know if there's a medical term for this?



kraftiekortie
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23 May 2014, 10:12 am

I frequently fall asleep when I'm engaged in learning, even thought the material might be stimulating.

I've been known to "study" for exams in my sleep, dreaming of the answers. I've actually used answers derived within my dreams to obtain decent results on my exams.

I fell asleep during the presentation of a mightily impressive Greek play once.

I fell asleep, despite being in a front-row seat on Broadway, watching the musical known as "Fosse."

I believe falling asleep could be borne of boredom at times; at other times, however, it can be borne of contentment.



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23 May 2014, 10:46 am

I have actually fallen asleep because something was boring, but in addition I also get sleepy when I learn about something that interests me, so I can relate. I have no idea why this is. Maybe I'm trying so hard to not miss out on anything?
And any time I hear calm voices (like on Discovery Channel, or similar) I get tired right away. Good if it's night, bad when I have to or just want to focus.


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23 May 2014, 12:10 pm

I used to fall asleep in school and I did the same in childbirth class. Just doing lot of listening to the teacher makes me tired and my head gets heavy and I close my eyes. I never actually fallen asleep, I just had my eyes closed. I don't think it's chronic fatigue syndrome. This is just something I cannot do and that is sitting down and listening to a lecture. Makes me think I won't be able to do jury duty because it's also a lot of listening and note taking and I was never good with taking notes either. I can imagine myself falling asleep in the stands and zoning out on the case. I don't think this is something lot of people would understand. I couldn't get kids to understand how I still can't hear everything despite listening to the teacher talk and I can't remember every word. I always thought it was the ADD because of the short attention span and too much listening is too overwhelming for us ADDers. But yet if it's something I am into, then I do better but it's frustrating not being able to keep up. I once left my autism group because the lady there who was doing a speech was saying interesting stuff but I got frustrated so I just left. There was no point in staying and hearing a lecture if I couldn't keep up. I still wouldn't learn much. That was the first time ever I left the group before it was even over.


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auntblabby
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23 May 2014, 1:42 pm

sounds very AD[H]D [inattentive subtype]-ish to me, I have the same problem, my frontal lobes take a vacation whenever I want them to do some work.



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23 May 2014, 1:56 pm

jayjayuk wrote:
Or does anyone know if there's a medical term for this?


Narcolepsy. I don't know if there is an specific term for narcolepsy related to learning or processing information.

Narcolepsy can be associated with emotional overload. Like if something really stressful or overwhelming happens the person will just fall asleep. So I think it could be the same with information overload.

Yes it is super common for people with ADHD to fall asleep in the middle of learning. I put my head on the desk and slept through most of my classes in high school. I think I am more of a hypersomniac than a narcoleptic though.



AlienorAspie
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23 May 2014, 2:49 pm

Hi, I havent experienced this personally, but I dont ever remember my dreams (well, have remembered about 4 in my life- Im 28). I think it is probably something to do with the reason we have dreams. During periods of REM (rapid eye movement) we are processing everything that happened to us during the day and apparently that's what makes us able to deal with information and things weve learnt. I think my brain has a bit of an odd connection between the conscious and subconscious and there's definitely a link there.

I hope you find some answers- maybe mention narcolepsy to your doctor- that seems like a likely explanation.

Have you tried caffeine, or taurine supplements etc, before you learn? Hope you find answers soon- it must be unbelievably annoying and frustrating.


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23 May 2014, 6:55 pm

Going to sleep after learning is actually a good thing, neuroscience-wise. It helps the hippocampus store new facts into long-term memory.


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