5 Causes of Daytime Sleepiness

Health Tips

Daytime sleepiness is not a disease, but merely a symptom of a number of conditions and diseases. There are more than 30 reasons for its occurrence. Some of them poison our life all year round, others – mainly in winter. How to find and neutralize them, will tell the head of the Center for Sleep Medicine of the sanatorium “Barvikha”, Honored Doctor of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Roman Buzunov.

1. Seasonal affective disorder

In the cold season, the day is very short, moreover, a person spends most of the daylight hours indoors. As a result, we practically do not see natural light, and this is very important. When sunlight does not reach the retina, the body actively synthesizes the sleep hormone melatonin. At the same time, the production of serotonin, the “hormone of happiness”, is reduced, which is manifested by reduced mood and apathy. Hence – a typical state for many: I want to sleep.

To normalize the situation, you need to spend more time on the street, especially during the day. In addition, light therapy helps a lot – the use of special lamps or light boxes that emit bright blue-white light, similar in characteristics to the solar spectrum.

2. Holidays

Trite: New Year is celebrated at night. At night they eat, drink, walk and go to bed in the morning. They wake up after lunch and get tired again only in the morning… Then they have to return to work mode for weeks. At the same time, we often do not have time to see sunlight at all.

Interestingly, sleep problems can occur even before the holidays. Choosing gifts, menu items, outfits is a stressful situation that disrupts sleep. An additional negative factor is luminous monitors (for many, they are the main source of entertainment during the holidays). Light from phones and tablets affects the retina and suppresses the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. As a result, a person spends half the night looking for entertainment, and the second half of the night trying in vain to sleep.

Forbid yourself to look at the screen after work – and it will be possible to establish a regimen: sleep at night and stay awake during the day.

3. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

This cause of drowsiness is not related to the season, but it is one of the most dangerous to health. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a frequent nocturnal stoppage of breathing against the background of snoring.

Apnea pauses last at least 10 seconds and can be repeated hundreds of times per night. This leads to oxygen starvation of organs and disruption of their work. In addition, sleep with obstructive sleep apnea becomes restless and often interrupted, which does not allow a person to get enough sleep and causes severe, sometimes even painful drowsiness throughout the day. Many patients are not even aware that they have a disease and associate their daytime symptoms with anything but their own snoring.

20% of all road accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel, and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is “to blame” in half of these cases.

The problem of sleep apnea without the intervention of doctors is not solved.

4. Insomnia

If you can’t sleep or wake up frequently during the night, it’s natural for you to want to sleep during the day.

Insomnia has several dozen causes – and the choice of treatment depends on them. Sometimes it is easy to deal with: for example, if it is caused by excessive consumption of caffeine, it is enough just not to drink strong tea and coffee in the afternoon. In cases where mental, neurological and other problems become the causes of insomnia, polysomnography and long-term treatment with the participation of a somnologist and, possibly, other specialists cannot be dispensed with.

5. Diseases

When a person is sick, even if it’s just a cold and not something serious, he often complains of drowsiness. The reason for the appearance of daytime sleepiness may not be the disease itself, but its treatment: taking various medications.

When drowsiness is caused by a disease, you don’t have to fight it, you need to sleep. Until the very recovery – as much as the body requires.

Photo: shutterstock.com

Read also:

How to Survive the Darkness: The Best Remedies for Winter Depression

Five more minutes: 7 reasons for constant sleepiness

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