Is daytime sleepiness normal or should you be worried?

Do you struggle to stay awake during the day, even after getting enough sleep? Have family or friends commented on how tired you look or act? If so, it could be that you're suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness or idiopathic hypersomnia. It's essential to understand what can cause this phenomenon. One should also know if there are natural ways to alleviate sleeping issues throughout the day. According to the Sleep Foundation, it is not a disorder but should be taken seriously. In this blog post, we'll explore common reasons for feeling groggy during the day. We will also provide tips to help you regain energy and focus.

Causes of excessive daytime sleepiness

Several factors can cause excessive daytime sleepiness. The most significant factor is sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep at night can cause drowsiness during the day. It can lead to poor concentration, mood swings, feeling tired and fatigue. Sleep disorders and other causes that can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness include:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (sleep-related breathing disorders)
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Kleine Levin syndrome
  • REM sleep behaviour
  • Periodic limb movement disorder
  • Certain medications including high blood pressure medicines
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Other sleep disorders

Chronic illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, or diabetes, can also cause excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue.

The impact of daytime sleepiness on your health

According to the National Sleep Foundation, excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the most common sleep-related patient symptoms or idiopathic hypersomnia. It affects an estimated 20 percent of the population. Persistent daytime excessive sleepiness can significantly impact your overall health. Excessive sleepiness during the day can lead to:

  • Poor work or academic performance
  • Poor daytime performance
  • Low energy levels
  • Problems recovering after physical activity
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Accidents due to drowsy driving
  • Feel tired

In extreme cases, excessive sleepiness can also lead to depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

When to seek medical help?

If you're experiencing persistent daytime excessive sleepiness, seek medical help immediately. A sleep doctor can make a physical exam and recommend further tests. These can include multiple sleep latency test and wakefulness test. It will help rule out underlying disorder or medical conditions. These can include sleep apnea, psychiatric conditions or depression. The sleep specialist will also assess the causes of excessive sleepiness. They will properly identify neurological disorders and other symptoms. They will also examine the sleep-wake cycle and other sleep problems.

There are several medicines available to help people stay awake and alert. These medicines, such as Adderall or Modafinil, are usually in the form of tablets or capsules. These are designed to stimulate the central nervous system, increasing alertness and reducing drowsiness. They can also suggest lifestyle changes. This can include healthy eating, exercise, or sleep hygiene to promote better sleep quality.

Tips to manage daytime sleepiness

If you experience idiopathic hypersomnia occasionally, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to accomplish it. You can take short daytime naps, limit caffeinated drinks and alcohol intake. You need to exercise more often and practice good sleep habits. Additionally, you can adjust your sleep environment by reducing noise and light. You can use comfortable bedding and maintain a comfortable temperature.

Prevention tips

Preventing daytime sleepiness starts with making healthy lifestyle adjustments. You can progress your sleep quality by establishing a sleep routine. Avoid late-night heavy meals or drinks. Take sleeping pills such as Zopiclone or Zolpidem if needed. Avoid nighttime use of electronic devices. Additionally, regular exercise, managing stress levels, and maintaining a healthy diet can promote better sleep quality and reduce daytime sleepiness.


Ultimately, daytime sleepiness can be normal or indicate an underlying medical condition or a change in day-to-day life choices. It's essential to pay attention to your body. A consistent struggle with fatigue could mean something more serious is at play. If you continually experience extreme tiredness during the day, speaking with your sleep specialist is crucial. Even if there isn't a serious medical issue, they may have some recommendations for better sleep habits that could help. Habits such as getting adequate sleep, keeping a healthy diet and keeping regular activities can help prevent daytime sleepiness from lingering issues. It is up to you to ensure you are taking the necessary steps towards better health and well-being. No matter what, caution should always be taken when feeling constantly fatigued, as there may be an underlying cause requiring treatment or lifestyle changes.