Learn About Drowsiness

What is the definition of Drowsiness?

Drowsiness refers to feeling more sleepy than normal during the day. People who are drowsy may fall asleep in when they do not want to or at times which can lead to safety concerns.

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Drowsiness?

Sleepiness - during the day; Hypersomnia; Somnolence

What is some background information about Drowsiness?

Excessive daytime sleepiness (without a known cause) may be a sign of a sleep disorder.

Depression, anxiety, stress, and boredom can all contribute to excessive sleepiness. However, these conditions more often cause fatigue and apathy.

What are the causes of Drowsiness?

Drowsiness may be due to the following:

  • Long-term (chronic) pain
  • Diabetes
  • Having to work long hours or different shifts (nights, weekends)
  • Long-term insomnia and other problems falling or staying asleep
  • Changes in blood sodium levels (hyponatremia or hypernatremia)
  • Medicines (tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antihistamines, certain painkillers, some psychiatric drugs)
  • Not sleeping long enough
  • Sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy)
  • Too much calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
How do I perform a home exam for a Drowsiness?

You can relieve drowsiness by treating the cause of the problem. First, determine whether your drowsiness is due to depression, anxiety, boredom, or stress. If you are not sure, talk with your health care provider.

For drowsiness due to medicines, talk to your provider about switching or stopping your medicines. But, DO NOT stop taking or change your medicine without first talking to your provider.

Do not drive when drowsy.

What should I expect during a doctor appointment?

Your provider will examine you to determine the cause of your drowsiness. You will be asked about your sleep patterns and health. Questions may include:

  • How well do you sleep?
  • How much do you sleep?
  • Do you snore?
  • Do you fall asleep during the day when you do not plan to nap (such as when watching TV or reading)? If so, do you awake feeling refreshed? How often does this happen?
  • Are you depressed, anxious, stressed, or bored?
  • What medicines do you take?
  • What have you done to try to relieve the drowsiness? How well did it work?
  • What other symptoms do you have?

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood tests (such as a CBC and blood differential, blood sugar level, electrolytes, and thyroid hormone levels)
  • CT or MRI scan of the head
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Sleep studies
  • Urine tests (such as a urinalysis)

Treatment depends on the cause of your drowsiness.

Who are the top Drowsiness Local Doctors?
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
What are the latest Drowsiness Clinical Trials?
The Nuvigil (Armodafinil) Tablets [C-IV]/Provigil (Modafinil) Tablets [C-IV] Pregnancy Registry

Summary: The primary objective of the Nuvigil/Provigil Pregnancy Registry is to characterize the pregnancy and fetal outcomes associated with Nuvigil and Provigil exposure during pregnancy.

Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
Children, Adolescents and Their Providers: the Narcolepsy Assessment Partnership (CATNAPTM)

Summary: CATNAP is a patient registry designed to improve the understanding of the natural history of narcolepsy in pediatric patients. Descriptive statistics on disease characteristics will be performed. The study has 16 active clinical sites and a virtual site that widens participation to anywhere in the United States. For more information about the study or to access the Online Patient Enrollment System...

What are the Latest Advances for Drowsiness?
Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for central sleep apnoea in adults.
Inspiratory muscle training as adjuvant therapy in obstructive sleep apnea: a randomized controlled trial.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Real-life WAKE study in narcolepsy patients with cataplexy treated with pitolisant and unresponsive to previous treatments.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: July 14, 2021
Published By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Avidan AY. Sleep and its disorders. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 101.

Hirshkowitz M, Sharafkhaneh A. Evaluating sleepiness. In: Kryger M, Roth T, Dement WC, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 169.

Mansukhani MP, Kolla BP, St.Louis EK, Morgenthaler TI. Sleep disorders. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2021. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier 2021:755-770.