Drowsiness refers to feeling abnormally sleepy during the day. People who are drowsy may fall asleep in inappropriate situations or at inappropriate times.
See also: Idiopathic hypersomnia
Excessive daytime sleepiness (without a known cause) may be a sign of a significant sleep disorder. It is different from fatigue.
You can relieve drowsiness by treating the cause of the problem. First, determine whether your fatigue is due to depression, anxiety, boredom, or stress. If you are not sure, talk with your health care provider.
For drowsiness due to medications, talk to your health care provider about switching or stopping your medications. Never stop taking or change your medication without first talking to your health care provider.
The doctor will examine you to determine the cause of your drowsiness and ask questions about your sleep patterns and health. Questions may include:
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the cause of your drowsiness.
Sleepiness - during the day; Hypersomnia; Somnolence
Morgenthaler T, Kramer M, Alessi C, Friedman L, Boehlecke B, Brown T, et al. Practice parameters for the psychological and behavioral treatment of insomnia: an update. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine report. Sleep. 2006;29:1415-1419.
Schwartz JR, Roth T. Shift work sleep disorder: burden of illness and approaches to management. Drugs. 2006;66:2357-2370.
Updated by: Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness, and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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