Do you sometimes  get late for work or appointments? could it be as a result of excessive sleepiness?Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, 30 minutes less of this can make you drowsy, underproductive or even moody especially if this sleep accumulates over time. If at all you find yourself sleeping more than 9 hours a night or even feel tired the next day after a night sleep of 7 to 9 hours it is certain then you might be suffering from excessive sleepiness.

Causes of excessive sleepiness

Most sleep disorders are associated with excessive sleepiness. This is because most sleep disorders disrupt a person’s sleep by reducing the quality of sleep thus making the person drowsy during the day. Here are the main causes of excessive sleepiness:

1. Obstructive sleep apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea usually struggle to breath during their sleep. This causes them to wake up on several occasions therefore causing interruption in the natural cycles of sleep. As a result of this, the person ends up not having sufficient sleep and this eventually leads to the person feeling drowsy the following day.

  • Unfortunately, people with obstructive sleep apnea don’t realize they have woken up several times through the night, they actually believe they have slept continuously through the night.

If in any case you are excessively sleepy during the day and you snore at night, have a high blood pressure and obese, it is okay for you to check out with your doctor to investigate the possibility of the disorder.

2. Insomnia

With insomnia, a person has difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep for the 7-9 hours of sleep the body requires. This causes one to be sleepy the following day and even have trouble waking up the following day.

3. Narcolepsy

A person with narcolepsy unwillingly falls asleep without consent during the day. It can happen while talking, eating a meal or even driving. In addition to this, a person with this condition has problems with sleep at night compounding to them having problems of sleepiness the following day.

Signs and symptoms of excessive sleepiness

  • Feeling of drowsiness during the day
  • Moody
  • Frequent sleepiness during the day
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty in concentrating

Treatment of excessive sleepiness

The best way to treat excessive sleepiness is tackling with its underlying cause. This means one has to make changes to their sleep routines, schedules and habits. Also stress management and changes in their sleeping environment too. For example if one is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they are supposed to be treated for sleep apnea. A continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) is often considered effective.

In severe cases, medications are prescribed by a physician. For instance, if you suffering from sleep apnea and use of continuous positive airway pressure but you still feel drowsy during the day, a doctor may prescribe drugs that will keep you alert throughout the day.

It is possible to be productive through the day without feeling drowsy. That series you watch overnight as you deprive yourself 7-9 hours of sleep could be the main reason to excessive sleepiness. Practice good sleeping habits for a better day.


  1. Causes of excessive sleepiness. (January 2015)

  1. Signs and symptoms of excessive sleepiness. (July 2016)

  1. Treatment of excessive sleepiness. (February 2016)