Daytime Drowsiness

Daytime drowsiness is a common symptom and most often related to not getting enough sleep. When drowsiness occurs most of the time or causes a person to fall asleep at inappropriate times, quality of life and performance can be affected.

Feeling drowsy during the day is often related to not getting enough quality sleep. However, sometimes this can be a symptom of an underlying disorder.

Morning headaches with drowsiness may be an important clue that you have a potentially more serious disorder.

Are you waking up with headaches?

Yes, I have been waking up with headaches.

No, I don't wake up with headaches.

Now that morning headaches are not an issue, we can move on to some of the more common reasons for feeling very drowsy during the day.

Most people need at least seven hours sleep per night and some need nine hours.

Assuming that you are in bed for at least seven hours with the lights out and television off, the most common cause of daytime drowsiness is poor quality sleep.

Do you think that you have problems sleeping?

Yes, I am having trouble sleeping.

No, I am not having trouble sleeping.

Three of the more common reasons for difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep are insomnia, depression, and sleep apnea. Insomnia is easy to recognize, but diagnosing the other two disorders may be less obvious. For instance, sadness may not be a prominent feature of depression and the person experiencing sleep problems will often not recognize that depression is the problem.

With sleep apnea, the person may wake up many times during the night without being aware of it. Heavy snoring is a predominant feature of sleep apnea. The person with the disorder may not know that they snore, but his or her partner will hear it.

If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder, contact your doctor.

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