How long has it been since you’ve felt alert and uplifted after a good night’s sleep? Persistent fatigue has many possible causes, and it’s something you should talk to your doctor about. But if it’s excessive daytime sleepiness, there are a few suspects you can eliminate yourself:
Are you making enough time to sleep? Partying or working too hard? Maybe your sleep is disturbed by children, a snoring partner or outside noise. Sooner or later this ‘sleep deprivation’ catches up with you, and your body says ‘Please sleep!’ Adequate sleep is essential to good health. Learn more about sleep health.
If you can’t fall asleep easily or wake up during the night or too early in the morning, you’ll feel sleepy during the day – especially if it’s happening night after night. Try pin down the cause of your insomnia first, and then solve your sleepiness problem.
Working rotating shifts may put your body clock out of sync, so you have trouble sleeping when you need to, and this could be the cause of your excessive sleepiness.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes a person to fall asleep at odd times, even in the middle of a conversation. Your doctor can diagnose this and prescribe treatment.
Depression may cause feelings of sadness, anxiety and hopelessness. It can also cause a whole range of other symptoms, including sleepiness. Sleep problems may contribute to depression and vice versa. You should see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment if you think you might be depressed.
Sleep apnea can be a cause of daytime sleepiness. It causes you to stop breathing while you’re asleep for up to 10 seconds at a time. Every time you have an ‘apnea’, your blood oxygen level drops and your blood pressure spikes.4 If left untreated, sleep apnea may put a significant strain on your body.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s crucial to get a proper diagnosis. You can try a simple online sleep assessment to see if you’re at risk. If you’d like more information about sleep apnea and how it’s treated, download our free Sleep Apnea Treatment Handbook.
Take a free sleep assessment here
This article is an abridged version of the original article published by ResMed. For citations and the full article, please click here.
Access expert medical care in minutesView our Services