Sleep is an important physiological process necessary for the functioning of the body. In a dream, all its functional systems are restored and tissues are pumped with vital energy. It is well known that a person can live much less without sleep than without food.
- What is increased sleepiness
- Why do you constantly want to sleep?
- Natural factors
- Lack of sleep
- Stress and Depression
- Infectious Diseases
- Hormonal imbalance
- Diseases causing weakening of blood flow to the brain or intoxication of the body
- Anemia, avitaminosis, dehydration
- Drug, alcohol and smoking
- Mental and neurological diseases
- How to get rid of sleepiness
- What should not be done when excessive sleepiness is detected
What is increased sleepiness
The normal duration of sleep in an adult is 7-9 hours each day. A person’s need for sleep varies with age. Babies sleep constantly – 12-18 hours a day, and this is the norm. Gradually, the duration of sleep decreases until it reaches an adult value. On the other hand, the elderly also often have an increased need for sleep.
It is also important that a person belongs to the type of representatives of the animal kingdom, for which night sleep and daytime wakefulness is normal. If a person cannot spend every night in a dream the time necessary for proper rest, then this syndrome is called insomnia or insomnia. This situation leads to many unpleasant consequences for the body. But the opposite situation brings no less problems – when a person wants to sleep more than the allotted time, including during the daytime hours, when nature prescribes wakefulness and an active lifestyle.
This syndrome can be called differently: hypersomnia, somnolence or, in common parlance, drowsiness. It has many reasons, and it’s very difficult to find a suitable one among them for each case.
First, we define more precisely the concept of drowsiness. This is how a condition is called, when a person is overwhelmed by yawning, the weight is pressing on the eyes, his pressure and heart rate decrease, his consciousness becomes less acute, his actions become less sure. The secretion of the salivary and lacrimal glands is also reduced. At the same time, a person is terribly sleepy, he has a desire to sleep right here and now. Weakness and drowsiness in an adult can be a constant phenomenon, that is, to pursue a person all the time he is awake, or transient, observed only at a certain time.
Why do you constantly want to sleep?
First of all, it is worth noting that the constant drowsiness affects the entire life of a person. He sleeps on the go, can not fully perform their work duties, do household chores, constantly because of this, entering into conflicts with others. This in turn, leads to stress and neurosis. In addition, drowsiness can directly pose a danger to people and others, for example, if he sits behind the wheel of a car.
It is not always easy to answer the question why a person wants to sleep. The main factors that cause drowsiness can be divided into those that are caused by an abnormal lifestyle of a person or external causes, and those that are associated with pathological processes in the human body. In many cases of drowsiness there are several reasons.
People react differently to natural phenomena. On some, they do not have a noticeable effect, others are very sensitive to changes in the weather. If it is raining, low pressure for several days in a row, the body of such people react to these circumstances by lowering blood pressure and vitality. As a result, a person may appear drowsiness and fatigue on such days, he may fall asleep on the go, but when the weather improves, his usual vigor returns. Other people, on the contrary, can react in a similar way to extreme heat and stuffiness.
Also, some people are prone to a syndrome in which a decrease in the length of daylight causes the body to release the hormones necessary for sleep much earlier than planned. Another reason that explains why a person constantly sleeps in the winter time is that in winter our body has less vitamins available from fresh vegetables and fruits, the consumption of which is known to improve metabolism.
Lack of sleep
Constant lack of sleep – the reason that seems the most obvious. And in practice, daytime sleepiness caused by a bad night’s sleep is most common. However, many people tend to ignore it. Even if, as it seems to you, you sleep for a sufficient amount of time, in fact this may not be the case. And if a person slept badly at night, then it is likely that his eyes will close during the day.
Night sleep may be incomplete, its phases may be unbalanced, that is, the period of REM sleep prevail over the period of slow sleep, during which the most proper rest occurs. In addition, a person may very often wake up at night, he may be distracted by noise and stuffiness in the room.
A common pathology that often disrupts the quality of a night’s sleep is apnea. With this syndrome, the patient suffers from insufficient nutrition of the body’s tissues with oxygen, which results in intermittent restless sleep.
You should also take into account the fact that over time a person needs more and more sleep. Consequently, if in twenty years people can sleep six hours a day, and this will be enough for him to feel vigorous, then at thirty years old the body is not so hardy, and it requires a more complete rest.
However, not always daytime sleepiness is a consequence of the inferiority of night sleep or insomnia. Sometimes there is a situation where a person can not sleep at night, although he sleeps well. This means a general pathological increase in daily need for sleep in the absence of night sleep disorders.
Our life passes in a frenzied rhythm and is filled with everyday vanity, which we do not even notice. Households, shops, car trips, domestic problems – all this in itself takes away our energy and strength. And if at work you still have to deal with the most complicated and at the same time the most boring things, sitting for hours in front of the monitor screen and looking at numbers and graphics, then the brain is overloaded. And it signals that he needs rest. This, in particular, can be expressed in increased sleepiness. By the way, brain overload can be caused not only by visual, but also by auditory stimuli (for example, constant work in a noisy workshop, etc.).
Drowsiness caused by this cause is relatively easy to eliminate – just take a break, time off or even go on vacation to clean up exhausted nerve cells.
Stress and Depression
It is quite another thing – when a person is tormented by some kind of problem that he cannot solve. In this case, at first, the person will be full of energy, trying to overcome the life obstacle. But if he fails to do this, then apathy, fatigue and fatigue rolls on the person, which can be expressed, including in increased sleepiness. Sleepiness is a defensive reaction of the body, because in a dream it is more protected from the negative effects of stress.
Drowsiness can also cause depression – an even more severe defeat of the human psyche, when he is literally not interested in anything, and around him, as it seems to him, a continuous hopelessness and hopelessness. Depression is usually caused by a lack of neurotransmitter hormones in the brain and requires serious treatment.
Many drugs, especially intended for the treatment of neurological and mental disorders, can cause drowsiness. This category includes tranquilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics.
However, if the drug you are taking does not fall into this category, this does not mean that it cannot cause drowsiness as a side effect. Drowsiness is a common side effect for first-generation antihistamines (tavegil, suprastin, diphenhydramine), many drugs for hypertension.
Many people know the feeling of flu or acute respiratory infections, especially when accompanied by high fever, when it is cold and sleepy. This reaction is due to the desire of the body to use all available energy in the fight against infection.
However, lethargy and drowsiness may be present in infectious diseases that are not accompanied by severe symptoms, such as pathological respiratory phenomena or high fever. It is possible that we are talking about the inflammatory process somewhere deep in the body. This state even has a special name – asthenic syndrome. And often the cause of drowsiness is asthenic syndrome.
It is characteristic of many serious diseases, both infectious and non-infectious. However, drowsiness is not the only sign of asthenic syndrome. Also, it is characterized by such symptoms as extremely fast fatigue, irritability and mood lability. Also, asthenic syndrome is characterized by signs of vegetative-vascular dystonia – blood pressure jumps, pain in the heart, chilliness or sweating, discoloration of the skin, headaches, tachycardia, abdominal pain and digestive disorders.
Many of the hormones produced in the human body affect the activity of physiological and nervous processes. In case of their lack, a person will feel drowsiness, fatigue, weakness, loss of strength. It can also decrease the pressure, weaken the immune system. These hormones include thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones. In addition to drowsiness, these diseases are also characterized by symptoms such as loss of weight and appetite, a decrease in blood pressure. Similar symptoms may occur in the hypoglycemic form of diabetes.
The reason for somnolence in middle-aged and elderly men can also be a lack of sex hormone – testosterone .
Diseases causing weakening of blood flow to the brain or intoxication of the body
With many diseases of the internal organs, the brain lacks oxygen. This can cause such a thing as daytime sleepiness. Cardiovascular diseases and lung diseases are among such diseases:
- heart attack,
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In diseases of the liver and kidneys, various toxic substances can get into the blood, including those that lead to increased drowsiness.
Although this disease is considered to be characteristic for the elderly, nevertheless, relatively young people are also susceptible to it lately. This disease is expressed in the fact that the vessels of the brain are clogged with lipids that are deposited on the walls of blood vessels. Drowsiness in the case of this disease is just one of the symptoms of cerebrovascular insufficiency. In addition to drowsiness, the disease is also characterized by memory impairment, noise in the head.
Recently, a large spread among people, especially those who are engaged in sedentary work, has received such a disease as osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Every second person suffers from this disease in one form or another. Meanwhile, few people know that in this disease not only pain in the neck, but also a spasm of the cervical arteries is often observed. There is a well-known situation when many people who sit for a long time behind the monitor screen, especially in an uncomfortable position, cannot concentrate properly. However, they do not suspect that the cause of their problems is precisely this disease. And from the inability to focus in the performance of their work duties, there are also consequences such as quick fatigue and a desire to quickly go to sleep, that is, drowsiness.
Pregnancy – this is one of the causes of drowsiness in women. During the first stage of pregnancy (up to 13 weeks), the woman’s body experiences an increased need for sleep. This is a normal physiological reaction caused by its hormonal restructuring and the fact that a woman needs to gain strength for the upcoming birth process. So there is nothing surprising if a woman in the position can sleep 10-12 hours a day. Drowsiness is less common in the last two trimesters. In some cases, it may indicate some abnormalities in the process of gestation, such as anemia or eclampsia.
Anemia, avitaminosis, dehydration
A lack of blood in the circulatory system (anemia), as well as a lack of hemoglobin also often lead to a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain tissue. With anemia, it often seems to a person that he has heavy eyes and wants to sleep. But this, of course, is not the only symptom of the disease. With anemia, dizziness, weakness and pallor are also observed.
A similar situation is also observed with a deficiency in the body of certain vitamins and minerals, with dehydration. Dehydration results from the loss of water and electrolytic compounds. Often caused by severe diarrhea. Thus, often the cause of drowsiness is simply a lack of certain substances in the body.
Drug, alcohol and smoking
After taking a significant dose of alcohol, a person tends to sleep – this effect is well known to many. Less well known is that smoking can also lead to a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain tissue. Sedative effect and have many drugs. This should be borne in mind by many parents who are concerned about the sudden onset of excessive sleepiness of their adolescent children. It is possible that the change in their condition is associated with the use of narcotic drugs.
Mental and neurological diseases
Sleepiness is characteristic of many mental illnesses, as well as personality disorders. Under what diseases of the nervous system and psyche can somnolence be observed? These diseases include:
- apathetic stupor,
- vegetative seizures and crises,
- psychoses of various types.
Also, hypersomnia can also be a side effect of treating diseases with the help of pharmaceutical preparations. In the case of disturbances in the functioning of the brain associated with traumatic brain injuries, encephalopathies of various origins, increased intracranial pressure, this symptom can also be observed. The same can be said about infectious diseases of tissues associated with higher nervous activity – encephalitis, meningitis, polio.
There are other types of hypersomnia of predominantly neurological nature – idiopathic hypersomnia, Kleine-Levin syndrome.
How to get rid of sleepiness
When drowsiness is not always easy to identify the causes. As is clear from the above, the causes of drowsiness can be varied – from an uncomfortable bed on which a person spends the night to serious pathological conditions that threaten life. Consequently, it is very difficult to find a universal recipe that would help a person cope with a problem.
The first thing recommended to do is start with a lifestyle restructuring. Analyze whether you sleep well enough, if you spend enough time on rest and relaxation, do you need to take a break, take a vacation or change your occupation?
Primary attention should be paid to sleep at night, because the causes of constant sleepiness may lie in its lack. The usefulness of night sleep largely depends on the biorhythms that have developed over the centuries, which dictate to the body that it is necessary to go to bed after sunset, and to get up – with sunrise. But, unfortunately, many people have learned to successfully ignore the instincts laid down by nature, and go to bed at the wrong time for this – long after midnight. This is facilitated by both the huge employment of the modern city dweller and the availability of various recreational activities (for example, television programs) in the evening. It is worth remembering that this is a bad habit that is worth getting rid of. The sooner a person goes to bed, the longer and deeper his sleep will be and, consequently, the less likely he is to feel tired and sleepy during the daytime. In some cases, it is recommended to take sleeping pills or sedatives, but they should be used only after consulting a doctor.
Next, you need to analyze your psychological state – are there any serious problems and conflicts in your life? If they are, then they should be solved or consulted with a psychologist.
In addition, there is a great way to increase your resistance to depression and stress – this is sports and physical education, walks and hardening. If you have sedentary work, you should take breaks in order to warm up or take a walk, to do a set of physical exercises. Even daily morning exercises can increase your vitality so that a constant desire to sleep during the day will pass by itself. Contrasting a shower, dousing with cold water, swimming in a pool are all great ways to always feel fresh.
One should not forget to air the room where you constantly sleep or work, because the stifling and hot air, as well as the lack of oxygen in it, contributes to loss of strength and lethargy.
You also need to review your diet to include natural sources of vitamins and trace elements, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as products that stimulate the production of endorphins, such as chocolate. Natural refreshments, such as green tea, also have a wonderful refreshing effect.
What vitamins can you drink with increased somnolence? First of all, this is vitamin B1, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in the winter months.
However, what to do if you tried all the ways to overcome your sleepiness and failed? Perhaps it is a metabolic disorder and a lack of neurotransmitters in the brain – serotonin, norepinephrine and endorphins, or the lack of production of thyroid hormones or adrenal glands, lack of vitamins and trace elements in the body, hidden infections. In this case, you can not do without the passage of thorough medical research. Depending on the detected pathology, various methods of treatment can be used – taking medications (vitamin complexes, antidepressants, antibiotics, microelements, etc.).
Which specialist is best to contact if you are tormented by severe sleepiness? As a rule, such problems are solved by a neurologist or a neurologist. There are also doctors who specialize in sleep disorders – sleep specialists. The specialist in most cases will be able to understand why you want to sleep during the day.
What should not be done when excessive sleepiness is detected
Undesirable self-administration of drugs, as well as the constant use of stimulants, such as coffee or energy. Yes, a cup of coffee can invigorate a person, if he slept badly, and he was required increased attention and efficiency. However, the constant stimulation of the nervous system with caffeine or other energetics, does not solve the problem, but only eliminates the external symptoms of hypersomnia and forms the psyche’s dependence on stimulants.