What Are Some Causes of Excessive Sleepiness?


Quick Answer

Some causes of excessive sleepiness include underlying conditions such as depression and sleep disorders, the use of particular medication, drugs, alcohol or smoking, states WebMD. Lack of enough sleep, which is sometimes by choice, is one of the most common causes of excessive sleepiness. Other causes include obesity and inactivity.

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What Are Some Causes of Excessive Sleepiness?
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Full Answer

Symptoms of excessive sleepiness include trouble waking up in the morning, naps that do not relieve sleepiness and drowsiness during waking hours. These symptoms are often accompanied by feelings of irritability and anxiety, loss of appetite and problems with memory and thinking, declares WebMD.

Restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy are some sleep disorders associated with excessive sleepiness. Restless legs syndrome, or RLS is a neurological condition that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs, sometimes with a compelling urge to move them in order to relieve the discomfort, notes the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The symptoms of RLS worsen at night or when a person is resting, often interfering with sleep and later leading to fatigue and sleepiness, according to WebMD.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that is characterized by the temporal collapse of the upper airways when sleeping. This happens several times during the night and cause interruption in breathing and in sleeping, states WebMD.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes overpowering drowsiness during the day and unexpected episodes of sleep attacks, according to Mayo Clinic. With narcolepsy, it becomes difficult to stay awake for extended periods of time.

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