Why do I doze all the time?

Dear Doctor, I have a problem of dozing all the time including in the morning after a whole night’s sleep. This is affecting my reading. Is this normal?

Dear Doctor,

I have a problem of dozing all the time including in the morning after a whole night’s sleep. This is affecting my reading. Is this normal?

Athanase

Dear Athanase,

The most common cause for sleepiness in a normal healthy adult is sleep deprivation. Many people do not take adequate sleep in night due to their work load, stress to meeting deadlines, exams, etc.This is the most common cause for day time somnolence in the US and is a problem in about 20% adults worldwide. Travelling during night can make one feel very sleepy the next day. One feeling somnolent during day time tends to feel irritable if not allowed to sleep. This also disturbs routine activities and affects quality of work.

 Lack of sound sleep also makes one feel somnolent the next day. Use of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, obesity, can affect normal sleep/wake pattern and make one feel very sleepy during day time. Watching television/movies, etc till late hours in the night can cause insomnia, affect sound sleep, thus causing day time somnolence. Medications like antidepressants, sedatives, anti vertigo drugs, anti allergy drugs etc can cause somnolence in day time as adverse effect.

Sleep disorders like narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnoea can disturb sleep in night and cause somnolence during day time. Chronic constipation, hot weather, etc can also make a person feel dull and drowsy throughout the day. Simple boredom with nothing much to do at hand can make a person feel somnolent during day time, in spite of good night’s sleep.

Chronic anemia, i.e. lack of blood, uncontrolled diabetes, hypothyroidism, any chronic infection are medical conditions which make a person feel weak. This person may not feel very fresh or energetic and would feel like sleeping during day time as well.

It is advisable that you take plenty of fresh green vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts to keep body healthy and fresh. Drinking much water is also useful. Regular physical exercise helps fight obesity and also makes one feel fresh and energetic.

Avoid taking alcohol, tobacco or coffee during sleep time. Relaxation is also important. One should try to fix a regular sleep/wake cycle by trying to sleep and wake up at a fixed time every day. Keep yourself busy throughout the day.

Suitable investigations done can exclude any medical condition causing fatigue and day time somnolence.

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