If you feel tired all the time and find yourself relying on coffee just to get through the day, you’re not alone. Roughly 20% of Americans suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. Of patients who seek the advice of sleep experts, daytime fatigue is the leading complaint. At SleepCues, PA, board-certified sleep medicine specialist Dr. Domingo Rodriguez-Cué can help uncover the underlying cause of your daytime fatigue and offer effective solutions. If you’re ready to feel energized again, call your nearest SleepCues, PA office in Wilson, Raleigh, Clayton, or Williamston, North Carolina, or book your appointment online today.
Daytime sleepiness is not a disorder in itself. It is rather a serious symptom that can have many possible causes. One of the main reasons many people wind up feeling drowsy and sluggish during the day is insufficient sleep or getting less sleep than what’s needed for optimal function.
Most adults require somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, and even getting 30-60 minutes less than the amount that your body needs can leave you feeling tired, groggy, and moody. This is especially true if you get insufficient sleep every night as your sleep debt accumulates over time.
Ongoing sleep debt may be the result of poor sleep habits, an irregular sleep schedule or a reduced opportunity for sleep; it may also be the product of an undiagnosed sleep disorder like sleep apnea, or a disturbance in your circadian rhythm, or body clock.
Certain medications and underlying medical conditions can also sap your energy and make you feel tired most of the time.
The word “tired” is often used interchangeably to describe feelings of “fatigue” and “sleepiness” but sleepiness is not necessarily the same as fatigue.
While sleepiness can make you wish you could just take a nap at work, fatigue is defined as an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, often accompanied by a reduced capacity to perform physical and mental work at normal levels. Simply put, fatigue is low energy that requires rest for recovery, not necessarily increased sleep.
Fatigue can be caused by a wide range of factors, including a lack of downtime, nutritional deficiencies, and underlying medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you feel both fatigued and sleepy, however, the chances are that insufficient or disrupted sleep is part of your problem.
If you suffer from ongoing fatigue, low energy, or daytime sleepiness, you probably already know just how much it can interfere with your daily life, including work, school, activities, and relationships.
At SleepCues, Dr. Cué uses a variety of methods, including comprehensive physical exams and at-home sleep testing, to uncover the underlying cause of fatigue, sleepiness, and related symptoms.
Once Dr. Cué has determined why you’re feeling tired, he’ll work with you to develop a custom treatment plan. For most patients this involves taking stock of sleep habits, improving sleep behavior and creating a lifestyle and home environment that’s conducive to sleep.
If Dr. Cué suspects you have idiopathic hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness), a circadian rhythm disturbance or narcolepsy, he may recommend further medical tests or sleep studies.