Sleepiness - during the day; Hypersomnia; Somnolence
Drowsiness refers to feeling more sleepy than normal during the day. People who are drowsy may fall asleep when they do not want to or at times which can lead to safety concerns.
Excessive daytime sleepiness (without a known cause) may be a sign of a sleep disorder.
Drowsiness may be due to the following:
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.
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:
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the cause of your drowsiness.
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.
Mansukhani MP, Kolla BP, St. Louis EK. Sleep disorders. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, Heidelbaugh JJ, Lee EM, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2023. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier 2023:794-809.
Sharafkhaneh A, Hirshkowitz M. Evaluating sleepiness and fatigue. In: Kryger M, Roth T, Goldstein CA, Dement WC, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 207.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 7/8/2023
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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