Why Am I Falling Asleep All Day?

Sleep is good for health, but feeling sleepy all the time may be a symptom of an underlying condition. Various conditions are responsible for excessive day time sleep. Maintaining proper sleep habits, following guidelines for sound sleep and getting treated for the underlying condition may result in improving this condition.

Why Am I Falling Asleep All Day?

Sleep Deprivation: Sleep deprivation is one of the primary reasons for excessive day time sleepiness. The biological clock is set for sleeping at night. However, if the person does not get enough sleep frequently may cause excessive day time sleepiness1.

Premenstrual Syndrome: Most women during the period before the menstrual cycle have sleep problems2. Women have found harder to sleep and remain asleep. This may start a few days before the periods until the period comes. This may be due to hormonal changes and alteration in the body’s ability to control temperature leading to difficulty in sleeping.

Insomnia: Insomnia may lead to excessive day time sleep. While sleep deprivation is not to take sleep due to indulging in activity, insomnia is the condition in which the patient is not able to fall asleep. There are two types of insomnia. Onset insomnia is the condition when the patient is tired and cannot sleep while maintenance insomnia is the condition when the patient is not able to maintain sleep1. In any type of insomnia, the patient has excessive sleeping urge throughout the day.

Idiopathic Hypersomnia: Hypersomnia is the condition in which the patient feels sleepy all the time in a day. There are various reasons for hypersomnia, but in many cases, the reasons may not be found. This condition is termed as idiopathic hypersomnia3.

Poor Sleeping Habits: Poor sleeping habits are also one of the factors for increased day time sleep. The person may not get enough sleep due to various reasons. For this, the person should know the amount of sleep required, maintain the outer environment to have a sound sleep and follow certain habits to improve sleep4.

Depression: Depression is another factor that destroys the sleeping pattern. Excessive day time sleeping is highly prevalent among depressed patients5. This may be due to the reasons that depression affects the thought process in the brain leading to reduced sleeping.

Anemia: Low level of iron in the body directly affects the sleep. The patient feels fatigued and unable to get the sound sleep. Further, low iron levels increase the risk of anxiety in patients. During anxiety, the level of cortisol in the body increases. This increase of cortisol leads to decrease melatonin, which is a sleep hormone6.

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism may lead to insomnia. When the patient suffers from hypothyroidism, there occur breathing difficulties leading to sleep apnea7.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Chronic fatigue syndrome affects both cognitive and physical functioning. Although fatigue is found to be a common complaint in these patients, many people report that they have unrefreshing sleep8. This may lead to excessive day time sleep.

Kleine Levin Syndrome: The syndrome is characterized by excessive behavior related to hunger, sex, and sleeping. The symptom of this condition is excessive day time sleepiness and sleeping for a long period of time along with increased hungriness. During this period, the person experiences hallucinations and confusion9.

Narcolepsy: Excessive day time sleep can also be caused due to narcolepsy10, a neurological condition. The condition may be caused due to the low level of hypocretin, a chemical found in the cerebrospinal fluid. This chemical is secreted by the hypothalamus neurons and damage to these neurons resulting in a low level of this chemical leading to excessive day time sleep. The condition that may damage these neurons includes autoimmune diseases or brain injury.

Conclusion

Various conditions may lead to falling asleep all day. These conditions include sleep deprivation, insomnia, idiopathic hypersomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, narcolepsy and Kleine Levin Syndrome.

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