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Why do I feel so drowsy?

Q: I have a sleep disorder and have an inverted day and night cycle. I feel very sleepy, confused and weak in the mornings and feel active only after 3 PM. I also have a lot of body ache in the mornings. I have been suffering from depression for about 20 years and am on regular medication. This is the only depression related symptom that I am not able to control with medicine and this is upsetting my life, my routine, my job. Please let me know what is the way out for me. I take regular vitamin supplements and exercise, but not regularly.

A:It is unclear whether you have an inverted day and night cycle because of the kind of work you do or because you simply do not sleep at night and therefore feel sleepy during the day. You mention that you take medications for depression. There are several which can cause drowsiness so the first thing I would recommend is to see your physician who prescribed your depression medications and see whether the medication(s) is(are) responsible for the drowsiness. There are several antidepressants which can be used which do not have a sedating effect. If medications are not the cause you should be evaluated for sleep apnea. Your physician can arrange for this. If this study is normal you might consider using a medication called modafinil to see if this will help. Please remember that all treatments and investigations should be done under supervision of a physician.


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