Sleepiness is the desire to fall asleep. It is sometimes referred to as drowsiness and typically increases the longer we stay awake.
Conditions That Can Cause Sleepiness.
Not getting enough sleep — sometimes by choice — is the most common cause of excessive sleepiness. Working at night and sleeping during the day is another. Other causes include drug, alcohol, or cigarette use, lack of physical activity, obesity, and the use of certain medications.
What causes excessive daytime sleepiness?
The most common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness are sleep deprivation, obstructive sleep apnea, and sedating medications. Other potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness include certain medical and psychiatric conditions and sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy.
If you have worked with a sleep specialist and tried behavioral changes to improve sleep, medication may be an option. Modafinil (Provigil) and armodafinil (Nuvigil) are possible medications to treat excessive sleepiness.