Some people also experience sleeping too much. Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) is a condition where people fall asleep repeatedly during the day; sometimes in the middle of eating a meal or during a conversation.
If you have hypersomnia you may:
- Regularly nap during the day and not feel refreshed
- Fall asleep during the day, often while eating or talking
- Still sleep for long hours at night.
To find out more, visit the hypersomnia page on the NHS website
Excessive daytime sleepiness is different from feeling tired all the time
Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for ‘tired all the time’.
We all feel tired from time to time. The reasons are usually obvious and include:
- Too many late nights
- Long hours spent at work
- A baby keeping you up at night
But tiredness or exhaustion that goes on for a long time is not normal. It can affect your ability to get on and enjoy your life.
Unexplained tiredness is one of the most common reasons for people to see their GP.
Before you see a GP, you may want to work out how you became tired in the first place.
It can be helpful to think about:
- Parts of your life, such as work and family, that may be particularly tiring
- Any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as bereavement or a relationship break-up
- How your lifestyle m ay be making you tired
A GP will look at the following causes of tiredness:
- Psychological causes
- Physical causes
- Lifestyle causes
Psychological causes of tiredness:
Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes and most causes lead to poor sleep or insomnia, both of which cause daytime tiredness.
Psychological causes include:
- Emotional shock
Physical causes of tiredness
There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired of exhausted including:
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Sleep apnoea
Tiredness can also be the result of:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being underweight
- Cancer treatments
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Lifestyle causes of tiredness:
In today’s 24/7 ‘always on’ world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives. The main lifestyle causes of tiredness include:
- Night shifts
- Daytime naps
If you have been feeling constantly tired for more than 4 weeks, it’s a good idea to see your GP so they can confirm or rule out a medical condition that could be causing your tiredness.
To find out more on sleep and tiredness, visit the NHS website
Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0