Why does he doze so much?

Dear doctor; A workmate in office has a habit of dozing off. This usually happens in the early afternoons and it looks a bit awkward to some of us. He says he goes to bed early and that he has no health problem. Is there something else that can explain such a habit?

Dear doctor;

A workmate in office has a habit of dozing off. This usually happens in the early afternoons and it looks a bit awkward to some of us. He says he goes to bed early and that he has no health problem. Is there something else that can explain such a habit?

Anonymous.

Dear Anonymous,

Excess day time sleepiness can be due to multiple causes. One may sleep late and get up early, thus feeling somnolent at inappropriate times. Jet lag, excess work, heavy meals can cause daytime somnolence but that would be temporary. However if one has this problem every day then the underlying cause should be looked for.

Hypothyroidism, head trauma, chronic anemia, chronic kidney diseases can cause excess sleepiness during day time. Chronic constipation can make one feel dull which is perceived as fatigue and the person can dose off at some inconvenient time. Restless leg syndromes, narcolepsy are other conditions which can cause this problem.  Abusive substances like alcohol, other drugs can disturb one’s sleep wake cycle and lead to hyper somnolence during day time. One may get excess sleepiness due to sleeping pills or tranquilisers consumed the night before. Severe depression can cause insomnia as well as hyper somnolence at times. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to this problem.

Treatment of this condition depends on suitable investigations to search the cause and treating the cause. But some measures adopted can help your friend to overcome this problem. When he starts to feel sleepy, drinking hot tea or café will reduce the somnolence. Even drinking some water would be useful to drive away the lethargy. If he gets up and walks around for 10 to 15 minutes, the desire to sleep may pass off and he shall feel fresh. Taking fresh green vegetables and fruits and drinking eight to 10 glasses of water refreshens one all day. Regular physical exercise is also useful in keeping one feel fresh and energetic the whole day.