Drowsiness and fatigue

Drowsiness and fatigue are two different concepts.

A sleepy person struggles to stay awake and keep his eyes open.
Fatigue can also be felt when the person is awake and does not feel sleep.

Children, adults and the elderly often suffer from drowsiness and fatigue due to their lifestyle:

  • They eat in the evening after 20 pm and go to bed late.
  • They eat foods that interfere with sleep.
  • They drink too much stimulating drinks, such as coffee and tea. After consuming these substances, the person has more energy, but when the effect wears off, the organism is more tired than before.

Drowsiness can be dangerous, especially when driving.


Causes of constant daytime sleepiness

Circadian rhythm
Sleep disorders are the main reasons for somnolence.
For instance:

These diseases do not allow rest, no matter how long you have been in bed.
During the day, the person concerned is not recovered, but

  • feels exhausted,
  • has trouble concentrating.

The disturbance of the circadian rhythm (biological clock) can be caused by:
1. night shifts, 2. time difference,

3. change of seasons (spring fatigue is caused by the increase in hours of sunshine),
4. staying up longer.

Psychological disorders
depression, anxiety, etc. can cause insomnia and thus constant sleepiness during the day.
The affected person feels physically and mentally inactive and, moreover, lacking energy and resigned.

Some conditions can give the feeling of daytime sleepiness, for example:

  • hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism),
  • hypothyroidism (thyroid dysfunction),
  • anemia and leukemia,
  • kidney diseases,
  • heart disease (for example, heart failure),
  • liver diseases (for example, cirrhosis),
  • Brain damage
  • restless leg syndrome (pathology that causes the urge to move during sleep),
  • Premenstrual syndrome that occurs a few days after ovulation and menstrual cycle
  • lack of vitamin D and B12,
  • a malignant tumor in the advanced stage,
  • Side effect of medicines, for example:
    • Grippostad (paracetamol + chlorphenamine) for colds,
    • Drugs
    • Narcotic.

Pregnancy and excessive sleepiness

During pregnancy, it is largely normal to be sleepy during the day.
Most women suffer from it at the beginning of pregnancy and until about the tenth week.
The cause is the increased hormone level of progesterone in the first trimester.
Causes of insomnia can include:
1. gastroesophageal reflux during the night, 2. frequent nighttime urination,

3. anxiety or stress.

Postprandial fatigue (after eating)

Tiredness and drowsiness after a plentiful dinner are normal.

Type of food:

  • Foods such as oatmeal and whole grains are digested over long periods of time, but can satisfy hunger for a few hours. Nevertheless, gluten-containing cereals can cause digestive problems and sleep disorders. Many people who eat pizza in the evening cannot sleep at night.
  • In contrast, processed foods, sweets, and refined carbohydrates are immediately digested and absorbed. Since these foods do not contain enough nutrients, their effect is only a temporary supply of energy, followed by exhaustion and drowsiness.
  • Wine can cause drowsiness, especially red wine.

Quantity and timing of meals:

Heavy meals can cause drowsiness, especially if they contain processed, fat, and heavy foods, such as meat.
Indigestion can cause:

A lunch of fresh fruits, vegetableslegumes and nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)

It is recommended to divide the food into five or six small meals a day.

Many people think that they should have a sumptuous breakfast in the morning, but it would be better to drink a glass of lemonade in the morning and postpone breakfast until the morning. The human body is programmed to perform bodily functions at set times.

For example:

  • At night, during sleep, the body assimilates the foods that were ingested during the day.
  • In the morning, the body is programmed by the bowel movement for excretion, because the colon then runs at full speed. Citrus fruits and especially lemons can support intestinal activity, an alternative is juicy fruit such as honey and watermelon.
  • At noon, the main meal of the day should take place, abundant and rich in proteins. According to hygienism (theory of the ideal way of life), lunch should be the first meal of the day. After 20 o’clock should not be eaten, because the phase of nutrient absorption begins.

Food allergies and intolerances: Tiredness and fatigue can also be caused by some allergies to food, for example:

People who eat foods to which they are allergic or intolerant may also suffer from:

Causes of sudden fatigue

Any type of disease is directly or indirectly associated with tiredness and exhaustion.

Causes of sudden drowsiness include:

  1. overwork and stress,
  2. insomnia,
  3. hypoglycaemia,
  4. Anaemia
  5. adverse drug reactions,
  6. caffeine dependence,
  7. alcohol abuse,
  8. anxiety and depression,
  9. Influenza
  10. Hypothyroidism
  11. severe disorders such as hepatic insufficiency, kidney disease and cancer.

Children may experience drowsiness and fatigue after hexavalent or flu vaccination.
This is a normal reaction. However, the doctor should be consulted immediately if the child develops further symptoms, such as:

Causes of drowsiness in the morning upon awakening

Diet and diet A diet devoid of essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals) can cause fatigue and drowsiness in the morning.

In order to maintain the energy level throughout the day, it is a prerequisite to supply the body with important nutrients

Thyroid problems
Inadequate thyroid hormone levels are a sign of conditions such as:

The result can be morning fatigue even after 7-8 hours of sleep.

Insomnia The main cause of morning fatigue is insomnia
or that you have slept too little.
It is recommended to go to bed earlier.

Those who suffer from anaemia have too few erythrocytes (low hematocrit) in the body.
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to different parts of the body.
Anemia can cause:

A hangover after excessive alcohol consumption is manifested by:
1. headache,

2. muscle pain,

3. dizziness or drowsiness,
4. fatigue.

Pregnancy may cause:

  • insomnia (the woman gets up more often at night because of urination),
  • morning sickness.

The result is morning sleepiness.
At the end of pregnancy (9th month), drowsiness increases and fatigue and heavy legs remain.

Falling asleep at work

Reasons for sleepiness in the workplace include:

1. A heavy lunch.
2. Insomnia.
3. Sleep-wake cycle. In general, there are two times of the day when you feel tired: at night and in the early afternoon.
4. Some medications, for example:

  • antihistamines,
  • Antidepressants such as triazolam (Halcion) or sertraline (Zoloft).

Natural remedies for drowsiness

The easiest way to stay awake and fresh during the day is to get a night’s sleep of 7 to 9 hours.

If the night’s rest is not sufficient, the following means can be tried.

  1. Cold water To stay awake in the afternoon, you can drink a glass of cold water
    In this way, body and mind are refreshed.
    You can also try a face wash.
  2. Avoid heavy lunches. It is recommended to start the day with a sumptuous and healthy breakfast that provides enough energy for the whole day. To avoid afternoon fatigue, lunch should consist of few foods and protein should not be combined with carbohydrate-containing foods.
    It is better to eat only when a feeling of hunger is noticeable; in addition, it is advisable to wait until the previously consumed meal is digested.
  3. Strong and fresh smells make you less tired.
    Essential oils can have a stimulating effect on the body.
    It is recommended to put a few drops of an essential oil in a bowl of water and place on the table to inhale the aroma.
    Another solution is to drizzle a few drops on a handkerchief and smell it.
    The most commonly used essential oils are:

    • Eucalyptus
    • Peppermint
    • Thyme
    • Rosemary
    • Lemon grass.
  4. Chewing gum or a candy help to stay awake.
  5. Place a plant on the table.
    The green color has a stimulating effect on the senses.
  6. Lighting
    It is very important to work in a bright room.
  7. Monotonous work causes the loss of enthusiasm and creates fatigue.
    If a person feels sleepy while reading or studying, a walk in the fresh air is recommended.
  8. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to drowsiness in the afternoon and evening.
    To stimulate blood circulation and wake up, the following are sufficient:

    • a few simple stretching or gymnastic exercises,
    • a quick massage relaxes the muscles and helps to overcome drowsiness.
    • Massage neck, temples and forehead.
  9. Caffeine – Caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee and tea) help to stay awake, but an excess of energetic drinks is not recommended because the effects only last a few hours.

Read more: