I'm a 39 year old man. In my teens I started having trouble falling asleep at night, and trouble waking up in the morning. In high school, I would sleep through the first half of the day, then take long naps (2 hrs) after school. At age 23 I had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with phase delay syndrome and narcolepsy. Ritalin initially worked amazingly. With time, it worked less well. I now take Provigil in the day and diphenhidramine at night. Both work okay.
Over the last couple years, I've developed new symptoms. I take diphenhidramine at night. (If I don't, I can't sleep.) When I go to sleep, it feels as if I go immediately into REM sleep. I do this whenever I go to sleep - at night, naps, falling back to sleep in the morning. Also, as strange as it sounds, I feel as if I dream, vividly, while awake. (I say "I feel" only because this sounds so strange. But really I'm certain I dream while I'm awake. I can't really describe it.)
One other thing - a past girlfriend told me when falling asleep my breathing would change. Instead of smooth inhaling and exhaling, in a continuous sequence, she said I would almost hold my breath briefly after inhaling, then exhale.
So, what is this - going immediately into REM sleep, skipping the first 4 stages of sleep; dreaming while awake, but while coming in and out of sleep; erratic breathing?