How can I prevent myself from always feeling sleepy during the day?

This question was asked in Santa Paula, California on 08/01/2012.
I'm constantly feeling sleeply during the day. I can sit down to read a book or newspaper and will want to dose off or even fall asleep. This even happens after I get a good night's sleep. What can I do to prevent this?

Doctors Answers (4)

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 8/10/2012

You may not be getting as much sleep as you think or the right kind of restful sleep at night as the primary cause of your problem. It seems like you need a sleep specialist to evaluate you to see if you have a hypersomic disorder or a primary sleep disorder like sleep apnea or periodic limb movements that could be fragmenting your sleep.

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 8/9/2012 6

Most common cause of sleepiness is sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, and medicines. You should see a sleep specialist in help determining what is the most likelihood of your symptoms. In most cases a sleep study is needed to determine. Sometimes people have narcolepsy which causes excessive daytime sleepiness.

Gary K. Zammit, Ph.D.
Answered on: 8/3/2012 6

Most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep in order to feel fully refreshed and alert all day, and some people need even more. Daytime sleepiness can be an indicator that you are not getting the sleep you need. Allowing yourself the opportunity for more sleep may significantly reduce your daytime sleepiness, and improve your level of daytime functioning. If you are still having difficulty after that, talk to your doctor about this problem. Certain sleep disorders are associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, and these can be evaluated and treated effectively by a sleep specialist.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 8/2/2012 9

Feeling sleepy during the day usually has a cause. The cause can range from getting inadequate sleep either from too few hours of sleep or fragmented sleep secondary to arousals of the brain. These arousals can be caused by a multitude of disorders including sleep apnea, limb movements, acid reflux, noise, pain, etc. First, you need someone to evaluate your sleep history and possibly order an overnight sleep study which may help make the diagnosis as to why you are so sleepy. Treating the sleep disorder may eliminate your daytime sleepiness. At times, however, a stimulant medication may be necessary to maintain normal wakefulness. Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy should be considered and treated as soon as possible. Your quality of life, your safety and the safety of others should be major concerns.