What Causes Sleepiness During the Day?

By on July 16, 2013

Sleepiness During the DaySleepiness during the day can be due to several reasons, such as hormone problems, depression, nutritional deficiencies, and due to side effects of some medications, like antidepressants, painkillers, and antihistamines.

Here are the most common causes of sleepiness during the day:

Sleep deprivation: It is one of the most common causes of sleepiness during the day. Even healthy people may notice the symptoms with mild sleep restriction. Sleep deprivation symptoms may occur only with loss of one night’s sleep.

People who are chronically sleep deprived are often unaware of the increasing cognitive and performance deficits. Unexpectedly, various types of chronic insomnia are linked to daytime hyper-arousal instead of excessive sleepiness during the day.

Medications: Daytime sleepiness is most commonly associated with medications that affect the central nervous system. Some medications can cause sleep apnea, which again cause daytime sleepiness.

Changing or even stopping the medications can result in improvement. Sometimes, stopping or changing the medications may not work and the person needs to take the medicines that help with sleepiness.

Illness or injury: Any illness if exist for short or long period may cause excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Pain from the illness or injury can disrupt your sleep similar to any sleep disorder.

Once sleep is disrupted, it can result in daytime sleepiness. Any kind of neurological conditions and head trauma can cause excessive sleepiness.

Narcolepsy: It is a very specific medical disorder that can result in sleepiness during the day. This condition is the result of hypocretin deficiency, which is a neuropeptide in the brain.

This deficiency can also result in episodic weakness. This disorder can be treated with medication and it should be diagnosed with special sleep test i.e. conducted in the daytime.

Shift work: People who do shift works are at increased risk of sleepiness and health problems that come with insufficient sleep, such as heart problems and high blood pressure.

Shift work is really challenging as it needs people to sleep and wake in a pattern that is out of sync with the body’s biological clock. Sleeping on the irregular schedule means you are working against the biological clock and it may be difficult to sleep a full 7-9 hours.

Medical problems: There are some medical problems that can result in sleepiness during the day. Teens with ADHD have more sleep disturbances compared to others. Depression can also cause sleep disturbances.

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD): PLMD is a disorder in which people kick and twitch during their sleep. Leg jerks can cause more frequent and brief awakenings that disrupt your sleep and can lead to sleepiness during the day.

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