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What are some reasons for feeling constantly tired and sleepy?

A:

Quick Answer

Anemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and thyroid problems are examples of conditions that cause constant sleepiness, according to WebMD. Allergies and hay fever, fibromyalgia, and food allergies or intolerance may also cause excessive sleepiness.

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Full Answer

Lifestyle factors, including inactivity or too much activity, unhealthy eating habits, medications, alcohol consumption, and medications may cause constant tiredness or fatigue, details Mayo Clinic. Anxiety, stress, depression and grief are psychological conditions that may lead to ongoing fatigue. The condition is also caused by emphysema, chronic kidney disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Narcolepsy, sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder and restless legs syndrome are examples of sleep disorders that cause sleepiness, explains WebMD. Narcolepsy affects a person's control over sleep and causes intermittent, unintentional episodes of falling asleep during the day. Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, and restless legs syndrome creates unpleasant sensations in the legs that prevent sleep. Shift work sleep disorder results from interrupted sleep cycles as a result of working rotating shifts or graveyard.

Individuals who experience sustained sleepiness for more than two weeks should consult a doctor, advises Mayo Clinic. Sleepiness that is accompanied by extreme pelvic, back or abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding, or a serious headache requires urgent medical attention. Thoughts of harming oneself or others mandates a call to 911 or the local emergency medical service.

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