Excessive Sleepiness- Why do I feel sleepy all the time?

Topics: Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, feeling sleepy all the time, sleep disorders, Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

It is not uncommon to feeling sleepy during day time, when you are unblinkingly staring at your laptop screen for hours. But, if this happens to you every other day, you may have excessive sleepiness, also known as Hypersomnia. This condition indicates poor sleep quality or a health disorder. You must recognize its signs, understand its causes, and treat the problem to avoid complications.

excessively sleepy during the day

Here is all you should know about excessive sleepiness!


Why I'm feeling sleepy during day time?

Poor sleep quality or any health disorder can lead to this as we feel sleepy because our body didn't get enough rest. During rest our body performs essential activities to maintain the regular function of our body. In medical science feeling sleepy during day time is also known as excessive daytime sleepiness or Hypersomnia. But every time feeling sleepy is not a health concerns. You can do a home sleep test to ensure your sleep health.


What is excessive daytime sleepiness?

Excessive daytime sleepiness or Hypersomnia is a rest-related problem where you experience difficulty staying awake during the day. The desire to rest in the daytime is elevated, especially when you are sedentary and inactive when driving or reading a book.

While most people experience the urge to rest when short on sleep, people with excessive sleepiness feel drowsy almost every day for at least three months. They experience repeated bouts of sleep that can be dangerous as they increase the chances of accidents.

How to differentiate between sleepiness and fatigue?

It is easy to confuse sleepiness with fatigue because, in both these conditions, you feel sluggish and want to go to bed. The lack of energy in both cases makes you want to find the nearest corner and doze off.

But, there is one way you can differentiate between sleepiness and fatigue. When suffering from the latter, you may not drift off despite feeling tired, but this is not the case with the former condition.

What symptoms are common in excessive daytime sleepiness?

If you are feeling sleepy during day time, you may notice the following symptoms:

  1. With Excessive daytime sleepiness, people experience difficulty staying alert.
  2. People with this sleep problem have slow reaction times.
  3. Such people are risk-takers and may make some mildly dangerous choices.
  4. With excessive sleepiness, it becomes challenging to make decisions.
  5. It is challenging to comprehend new concepts or ideas.
  6. Excessive daytime sleepiness might disturb your focus.
  7. Such people feel irritated and may get offended by small things.
  8. Remembering things is difficult for people dealing with excessive daytime sleepiness.

What are the possible causes of excessive daytime sleepiness?

Many reasons can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, including:

  1. Functioning on chronic lack of sleep because of long work hours, insomnia, irregular schedule, or other reasons can induce daytime sleepiness.
  2. Not catching on to good-quality sleep at night may lead to excessive sleepiness. In people who get up multiple times to use the washroom when sleeping, the natural progression of the sleep cycle gets disrupted. This also reduces the proportion of restorative slow-wave sleep.
  3. Lifestyle habits like smoking or not exercising enough during the day can lead to fragmented or poor quality. This, in turn, may lead to excessive daytime sleepiness.
  4. Feeling sleepy during day time may also result from an underlying health condition or sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders

  1. Many people do not even realise they have a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement, or restless legs syndrome. These rest problems can cause micro-awakenings and fragmented sleep, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness.
  2. Some rest problems affect the neurological mechanisms responsible for regulating the sleep cycle. A few examples of these are conditions like narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. These sleep issues influence the hormones that keep you awake during the day.
  3. Circadian rhythm disorders affect the body clock. Because of this, a disconnect occurs between the inner body clock and the time when you should stay awake. People suffering from this problem feel excessively sleepy during day time and are wide awake when it’s time to rest.

Other health conditions

  1. Chronic medical conditions and mental health issues might cause excessive daytime sleepiness. Some examples are anxiety, depression, lupus, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, obesity, pain, multiple sclerosis, and obesity.
  2. Health conditions have a bidirectional effect on sleep problems. Not resting well can slow down your recovery and may predict the diagnosis of health problems such as Parkinson’s disease.

What may happen if you have excessive daytime sleepiness?

Being sleepy during the day can affect your life in several ways. Some consequences it may have include:

  1. Increased risk of road or work accidents
  2. Poor quality of life
  3. Fights or problems in personal or social relationships
  4. Problems with mood regulation and emotions
  5. Reduced performance at work or in academics

When should you talk to your doctor?

  • If you feel sleepy all the time and the sleepiness is interfering with your day-to-day life, you must consult a healthcare specialist. He may run a few tests and ask questions about your sleep habits. They may even request an appointment with your sleep partner to ask if you snore, gasp, or move your legs at night. If they suspect a sleep problem to be the underlying cause for your sleepiness, they might refer you to a sleep specialist.
  • For treating excessive daytime sleepiness, the doctor first tries to pinpoint the cause. They may also suggest some good sleep hygiene tips and encourage you to get more rest. They may adjust your meds and develop a treatment plan to cure underlying disorders.

To sum up

Excessive daytime sleepiness can affect your day-to-day life and lead to decreased productivity. So, people dealing with this condition must get an appointment with a healthcare specialist to ensure they wake up their best the following morning.

Discover the convenience and effectiveness of sleep tests at home, a simple solution to understand and manage your sleep patterns better.


Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I feel so sleepy all the time?
Feeling excessively sleepy can be due to various reasons including poor sleep quality, sleep disorders like sleep apnea, lifestyle factors such as inadequate diet or lack of exercise, or medical conditions like hypothyroidism or anemia.
How can I stop feeling sleepy all the time?
Improving sleep habits is key; ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep nightly, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, and create a restful sleeping environment. Also, evaluate your diet, exercise regularly, and consider seeing a doctor to rule out underlying health issues.
Is hypersomnia serious?
Yes, hypersomnia can be serious. It often affects daily activities and can be a symptom of other medical conditions like sleep apnea, neurological diseases, or mental health disorders. Treatment is important as it can significantly impact quality of life.
What causes excessive sleepiness?
Excessive sleepiness can be caused by various factors including sleep disorders (like narcolepsy or sleep apnea), medication side effects, psychiatric or neurological conditions, or lifestyle choices such as irregular sleep schedules or substance abuse.
How to reduce daytime sleepiness?
To reduce daytime sleepiness, prioritize getting enough sleep at night, stick to a regular sleep schedule, and improve sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine and heavy meals before bedtime, and reduce screen time in the evening. If sleepiness persists, consult a healthcare provider.


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