Sleepiness Overview

Sleepiness is a common issue in life and is not necessarily a medical issue. Simple causes include sleep inadequacy from life’s challenges such as parenting, career exertion, partying lifestyle, late-night studying, shift work, jet lag, and so on. Poor quality sleep may also be related to the night-time sleep environment and sleep interruptions.

But sometimes a sleep disorder may be causing sleep difficulty (e.g. insomnia), resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. There may be difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, or both. Examples of sleep disorders include chronic insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and various others. Extreme sleepiness with abnormal napping is the classic symptom of an uncommon sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

Age-related sleep difficulty is also fairly common. Some seniors experience more difficulty with sleep as they age, without there necessarily being any major underlying sleep disorder. There are various other issues and causes of sleepiness.

Although many people often accept poor sleep as a part of life, you should see a doctor to address it. Some of the causal disorders can be dangerous and life-shortening (e.g. OSA). Read more about: Insomnia, Sleep Disorders

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.