Update: October 2018
Drowsiness – a feeling of lethargy, fatigue, desire to sleep
or at least do nothing. This is a condition that is normal.
arises as the result of a strong physical or mental
Physiological drowsiness – a signal from the brain that he
need a break from the flow of information that braking systems
turned on guard mode and reduce the reaction rate, dull
the perception of all external stimuli and block the senses and
cerebral cortex to dormant mode.
Withзнаки сонливости это:
- decreased acuity of consciousness, yawning
- decrease in sensitivity of peripheral analyzers
(dullness of perception)
- heart rate reduction
- decrease in secretion of external secretion glands and dry mucous membranes
(tears – sticking of eyes, salivary – dry mouth).
But there are situations or conditions in which drowsiness
turns into pathological deviation or even serious
problem in human life.
So why do you always want to sleep?
The main causes of constant sleepiness:
- Fatigue both physical and mental
- Oxygen starvation of the cerebral cortex
- Increased inhibitory reactions in the central nervous system and their predominance over
excitement, including on the background of drugs or
- Brain pathology with lesions of sleep centers
- Traumatic brain injury
- Endocrine pathologies
- Diseases of internal organs leading to accumulation in the blood
substances that inhibit the activity of the cerebral cortex
Pay attention to which house you live in: whether
nearby cell towers, power lines, and
how often and for a long time you talk on a mobile phone
(see how cellular and electromagnetic radiation affects
When a person is forced to stay awake for a long time, his CNS turns on the regimen
braking force. Even for one day:
- when overloading the visual (long sitting at the computer,
- auditory (noise in the shop, in the office, etc.)
- tactile or pain receptors
a person may repeatedly fall into short-term drowsiness
or the so-called “trance”, when its usual daytime alpha rhythm
the cortex gives way to slower beta waves, typical of fast
sleep phases (while falling asleep or watching dreams). This
a simple method of immersion in trance is often used
hypnotists, psychotherapists and fraudsters of all stripes.
Drowsiness after eating
Many are drawn to sleep after lunch – this is also explained
quite simple. The volume of the vascular bed exceeds the volume of blood,
which circulates in it. Therefore, the system always operates.
redistribution of blood according to the system of priorities. If the digestive tract is full
food and works hard, then most of the blood is deposited or
circulates in the stomach, intestines, gallbladder,
pancreas and liver. Accordingly, the brain for this period
active digestion gets less oxygen carrier and,
switching to economy mode, the bark begins to work less
active as an empty stomach. Because, actually, why move,
if the stomach is already full.
Banal lack of sleep
In general, a person cannot sleep at all. A sleep adult
Should not be less than 7-8 hours (although the historical colossi like
Napoleon Bonaparte or Alexander the Great slept for 4 hours, and
it did not hurt to feel hearty). If a person is forced
deprive sleep, it will still be turned off and sleep can
be even a few seconds. To not want to sleep during the day – sleep
at least 8 hours at night.
Another type of physiological drowsiness is a reaction.
organism under stress. If in the early stages of stress people are more likely
suffer from increased excitability and insomnia (against the background of emission
adrenaline and cortisol adrenal glands), then with prolonged action
stress factors the adrenal glands are depleted, the release is reduced
hormones, as well as the peak of their release (so cortisol,
released at 5-6 in the morning, begins to secretly secreted as much as possible to 9-
10 hours). Similar states (fatigue) are observed when
chronic adrenal insufficiency or on the background of long-term
taking glucocorticoids, as well as with rheumatic diseases.
In pregnant women in the first trimester on the background of hormonal
adjustment, toxicosis, and in the last trimester, when it goes
natural inhibition of the cortex by placenta hormones, there may be episodes
prolonging a night’s sleep or daytime sleepiness is the norm.
Why does the baby sleep all the time?
As you know, newborns and children up to six months, most
spend their lives in a dream:
- newborns – if the baby is about 1-2 months old
neurological problems and somatic diseases for him
typical in a dream to spend up to 18 hours a day
- 3-4 months – 16-17 hours
- up to half a year – about 15-16 hours
- up to a year – how much a baby should sleep up to a year is decided
the state of his nervous system, the nature of nutrition and digestion,
daily routine in family, on average it is from 11 to 14 hours per
So much time in the dream, the child spends one simple
reason: his nervous system at the time of birth is underdeveloped. After all
complete formation of the brain, completed in utero,
would simply not allow the baby to be born naturally due to
too big heads.
Therefore, while in a state of sleep, the child is maximally fenced
from overloading your immature nervous system that has
the opportunity to grow up in a quiet mode: somewhere
correct the effects of intrauterine or birth hypoxia,
somewhere finish forming the myelin sheaths of nerves from
which depends on the speed of transmission of nerve impulses.
Many babies can even eat in their sleep. Children up to six months
wake up more and more from internal discomfort (hunger, intestinal
colic, headache, cold, wet diaper).
A child’s drowsiness may stop being normal in the event of
his serious illness:
- if the baby vomits, he has frequent loose stools, prolonged
lack of stool
- he fell or hit his head, after which some
weakness and drowsiness, lethargy, pallor or cyanosis of the skin
- the child stopped responding to voice, touch
- for too long does not suck the breast or the bottle (and certainly not
It is important to urgently call the ambulance team or carry (carry) the child in
emergency room of the nearest children’s hospital.
As for children older than a year, they have causes of sleepiness,
beyond the usual, almost the same as in babies,
plus all somatic diseases and conditions that will
Pathological drowsiness носит еще название патологической
hypersomnia. This is an increase in the duration of sleep without objective
needs it. If a person who used to sleep for eight
hours, begins to be put to sleep during the day, sleep longer in the morning
or nodding at work without objective reasons – it should
to bring to thought about the problems in his body.
Acute or chronic infectious diseases
Asthenia or exhaustion of physical and mental forces of the body
characteristic of acute or severe chronic,
especially infectious diseases. In the period of recovery from the disease
a person with asthenia may need more
long rest, including daytime sleep. Most
the likely cause of this condition is the need to restore
the immune system, which contributes to sleep (during it
T-lymphocytes are restored). There is also a visceral
theory that the body tests in a dream
internal organs, which is important after the illness.
Close to asthenia is a condition experienced by patients
anemia (anemia, which reduces the level of red blood cells and
hemoglobin, that is, worsening the transport of blood oxygen to
organs and tissues). With этом сонливость входит в программу
hemic hypoxia of the brain (along with lethargy, decrease in
disability, memory loss, dizziness and even
fainting). Most часто проявляется железодефицитная анемия
(with vegetarianism, bleeding, against the background of a hidden deficit
gland in pregnancy or malabsorption, in chronic
foci of inflammation). B12-deficiency anemia accompanies disease
stomach, its resection, starvation, infection with a wide tapeworm.
Atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels
Another cause of oxygen starvation of the brain is atherosclerosis.
brain vessels. With зарастании сосудов, питающих головной
brain plaque ischemia appears more than 50% (oxygen
starvation bark). If it is a chronic cerebral dysfunction
- besides sleepiness, patients may suffer from headaches.
- hearing and memory loss
- imbalance when walking
- acute stroke impair stroke
(hemorrhagic at rupture of the vessel or ischemic at
thrombating him). The harbingers of this formidable complication may
стать нарушения мышления, шум в голове, drowsiness.
Cerebral atherosclerosis may develop in older people.
relatively slowly, gradually worsening the power of the cerebral cortex.
That is why a large number of old age drowsiness in
daytime hours becomes a companion and even a few
softens their withdrawal from life, gradually deteriorating the cerebral blood flow
so much so that oppressed respiratory and vasomotor
automatic centers of the medulla oblongata.
Idiopathic hypersomnia – самостоятельное заболевание,
which most often develops in young people. It does not have under itself
no other reasons, and the diagnosis is made by the method of elimination.
A tendency to daytime sleepiness develops. Moments appear
falling asleep during relaxed wakefulness. They are not so cutting
and sudden. As with narcolepsy. Evening sleep time
shortened. Awakening is more difficult than normal, and it can
be aggressive. In patients with this pathology, gradually
weakening social and family ties they lose professional
skills and ability to work.
- This is a variant of hypersomnia with an increase in daytime sleep
- more restless night’s sleep
- episodes of insurmountable sleep at any time of day
- with loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, episodes of apnea
- sick haunts a sense of non-sleep
- There may also be hallucinations when falling asleep and
This pathology is different in that, unlike the physiological
sleep the sleep phase comes right away and often suddenly without
preliminary slow falling asleep. This is a lifelong option.
Increased drowsiness on the background of intoxication
Acute or chronic body poisoning, to which the most
sensitive cortex and subcortex, as well as stimulation of the reticular
formations providing brake processes by various
medicinal or toxic substances, leading to severe and
prolonged sleepiness not only at night, but also during the day
- Alcohol is the most popular domestic poison. After stage
excitement during moderate intoxication (1.5-2, 5% 0 alcohol in
blood) usually develops a sleep stage in front of which can
be pronounced drowsiness.
- Smoking, in addition to vascular spasm, leads to worsening intake.
oxygen to the cerebral cortex, contributes to constant irritation and
inflammation of the inner choroid that provokes not
only the development of atherosclerotic plaques, but also potentiates
cracking them with thrombosis of the vascular bed, including
cerebral arteries. Therefore, approximately 30% of smokers have a constant
drowsiness and fatigue – constant satellites. But while casting
bad habits drowsiness may also bother
- Psychotropic substances (neuroleptics, tranquilizers,
antidepressants) give pronounced sleepiness, which becomes
chronic with prolonged use of drugs or addiction to them.
Also, long-term use of sleeping pills (especially barbiturates) and high
doses of sedatives lead to drowsiness due to activation
braking processes in the central nervous system.
- Drugs (especially morphine-like) also cause sleepy
CNS depression on the background of internal diseases
- Chronic heart failure
Heart failure in a large circle of blood circulation
leads to depletion of cerebral blood flow, chronic oxygen
starvation of the bark and pronounced sleepiness during the day, worsening night sleep,
difficulty falling asleep.
Encephalopathy в программе симптоматической артериальной
hypertension and hypertension – often the culprit is not only
excessive talkativeness, reduced criticism, but also inhibition of the cortex,
combined with increased need for sleep.
- Kidney disease
Renal pathology (glomerulonephritis, interstitial nephritis,
pyelonephritis, hydronephrosis) accompanied by acute or chronic
renal failure and the delay in the blood of nitrogenous wastes
can also cause abnormal prolonged sleep and
lethargy (see the classification of kidney diseases and their
- Liver disease
Hepatic cell failure in cirrhosis, liver cancer,
chronic hepatitis makes it harder to launder blood from products
protein metabolism (see symptoms of liver disease). As a result
the blood begins to contain high concentrations of toxic substances
for the brain. Serotonin is also synthesized and a decrease is observed.
sugar in the brain tissue. Dairy and pyruvicum accumulate
acids that cause puffiness of the cortex and hyperventilation of the lungs,
resulting in deterioration of the blood supply to the brain. With
the increase in poisoning drowsiness can develop into a coma.
- Intoxication against infections
Intoxications for viral, bacterial, parasitic and
fungal infections – another cause of pathological drowsiness.
The most famous chronic fatigue syndrome in the background
herpes infection. Constant fatigue combined with
drowsiness, decreased working ability, weakening
Neuroinfection на фоне гриппа, герпеса, бешенства, клещевого
encephalitis, fungal lesions may be accompanied by headaches.
pain, fever, drowsiness, lethargy and specific
Dehydration на фоне продолжающихся потерь воды и электролитов
with diarrhea or vomiting reduces circulating blood volume and inevitably
provokes weakness and drowsiness.
- Bleeding, shock, intestinal obstruction
Massive bleeding, shock of different origin, intestinal
obstruction leads to the accumulation of the main mass of blood in the abdominal
cavities and depletion of cerebral blood flow, resulting in
- Malignant tumors
Cancer cachexia (exhaustion) and intoxication of the body with products
the collapse of tumors also does not add vitality to a person (see how to
tests to determine cancer).
- Mental disorders
Mental disorders (циклотимии, депрессии) и
Neurological diseases can lead to drowsiness.
- Hypothyroidism – the most characteristic lesion of the endocrine glands,
in which develops severe drowsiness, impoverishment of emotions and
loss interest in life is hypothyroidism (after thyroiditis,
surgical or radiation removal of the thyroid gland). The fall
Thyroid hormone levels affect all types of metabolism,
therefore, the brain is pronounced fasting, and the accumulation of fluid in
brain tissue leads to swelling of the convolutions and deterioration of integrative
- Hypocorticism (adrenal insufficiency) leads to
lowering blood pressure, fatigue,
drowsiness, weight loss, loss of appetite and instability
- Diabetes mellitus not only affects vessels of different caliber (in
including cerebral, but also creates the conditions for unstable
carbohydrate balance. Fluctuations of sugar and insulin in the blood (at
unbalanced therapy) can lead to both hypo- and to
hyperglycemic and ketoacidotic states
damaging the cortex and causing an increase in encephalopathy, in
программу которой входит и сонливость в дневные clock.
Concussion, brain contusion, cerebral hemorrhage
shell or in the substance of the brain can be accompanied by a variety of
disorders of consciousness, including sopor (stupor),
which resembles a prolonged sleep and can go into a coma.
One of the most interesting and mysterious frustrations
in the fall of the patient into a long sleeping state in which
all signs of vital activity are suppressed (breathing decreases and
becomes almost undetectable, slows heartbeat,
no reflexes of the pupils and skin).
Lethargy in Greek means oblivion. At the most
There are a lot of legends about the buried alive. Usually
lethargy (which is not a pure dream, but only
significant inhibition of the work of the cortex and vegetative functions
- with mental illness
- nervous exhaustion
- against infectious processes with dehydration or
N. Gogol suffered from a similar disorder. He repeatedly in
the course of life fell into a long pathological sleep
(most likely on the background of neurotic disorders and anorexia).
There is a version that a writer who is stupid doctors
bled on the background of either typhoid fever or a strong decline
forces after starvation and neurosis from the death of his wife, did not die at all
his death, but only fell into prolonged lethargy, about
which was buried, as allegedly testified results
exhumations in which a head turned to the side were found
deceased and scratched from the inside of the coffin lid.
Thus, if you are worried about causeless fatigue,
drowsiness, the causes of which are very diverse, requires the most
careful diagnosis and access to a doctor to clarify all
circumstances leading to such disorders.