Fighting Off Sleepiness: Myths and Facts
Myth: Sleepiness is normal -- I just have to live with it. continued...
Drowsiness is one of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism, for example,
and Shives says that is one of the first things your physician is likely to
check for if you complain of persistent fatigue or sleepiness.
Depression and other mood disorders can also manifest themselves as
sleepiness and fatigue. Daytime sleepiness can indicate a sleep disorder, like
insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome, that is preventing you from
sleeping well at night, and anuntreated sleep disorder puts you at high risk
for a stroke or heart attack. Finally, recent research has found that excessive
day time sleepiness in an older person can be a symptom of cardiovascular
Dealing With the Facts: Get More Sleep
Of course, you may just be sleepy because, like so many other Americans, you
don't get enough sleep at night. If this is the case, you may want to make some
payments on your sleep deficit.
A growing body of research establishes how important sufficient sleep is to
our quality of life. Sleep deprivation can trigger depression and anxiety; it
can also impede performance and creativity. Finally, sleep deprivation can be
fatal. As many as 100,000 deaths each year are caused by drowsy drivers,
according to the National Safety Council.
It's never too late to begin developing good sleep habits. Why not start