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What causes sleepiness during the day?

Thursday, 09 January 2003
Answered by: R.S. Wadia
Honorary professor of Neurology
BJ medical college
Pune
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Q. I generally sleep for more than 9 hours. The problem is that even if I sleep for about 12 hours I still feel sleepy during the day. If I get up at 9:30 A.M., then by 10 P.M. I have to go back to sleep. Also I feel sleepy during the day and this has affected my social life too. I don't even get enough time for studies. My diet is normal and I eat lots of fruits. I have tried coffee but it doesn't work. Is it a serious problem? Should I take some pills like amphetamine or methylphenidate(ritalin)? If yes, then from where do I get these and by what name?

A.  Excessive day time drowsiness has many causes: 1. Your night sleep is disturbed. Do you snore a lot? Do you wake up a number of times at night. In a condition called sleep apnoea syndrome, the person snores ++ in sleep and repeatedly gets up with irregular breathing. Such people do not know their sleep is disturbed so one must check with the partner. 2. Are you taking drugs with prescriptions or without? 3. Do you have disease of liver, kidney, lungs? 4. Do you fall asleep in day time at inappropriate places e.g. while eating or in conversation. 5. You may need to check your thyroid function T4, TSH. If none of these, its possible one is depressed. I think an examination by a good consultant in medicine is desirable.

A.  Excessive day time drowsiness has many causes: 1. Your night sleep is disturbed. Do you snore a lot? Do you wake up a number of times at night. In a condition called sleep apnoea syndrome, the person snores ++ in sleep and repeatedly gets up with irregular breathing. Such people do not know their sleep is disturbed so one must check with the partner. 2. Are you taking drugs with prescriptions or without? 3. Do you have disease of liver, kidney, lungs? 4. Do you fall asleep in day time at inappropriate places e.g. while eating or in conversation. 5. You may need to check your thyroid function T4, TSH. If none of these, its possible one is depressed. I think an examination by a good consultant in medicine is desirable.

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