What is Causing You to be so Sleepy

What is Causing You to be so Sleepy

Wellness

In order to answer this question, we need to define sleepy vs. fatigue. Sleepiness is when you feel like you can close your eyes and fall asleep. A classic example is the head bob when you catch yourself falling asleep in another Zoom meeting.

Fatigue is when you are completely exhausted with no energy to do anything. In general, if you are feeling fatigued, work with your doctor to rule out any medical conditions that could be contributing to your fatigue. 

Now onto sleepiness, I will cover 3 scenarios that could be causing you to be sleepy all the time as a cat.

1) Your circadian rhythm is out of sync

People are downright brutal to their circadian rhythms now. Your CR is your own personal internal clock that keeps your body working together. The problem is it gets influenced by light, food, temp, and hormones. 

Light plays the biggest factor in shifting your CAR. Our bodies are designed to be exposed to bright light in the morning and afternoon to keep us alert and then to experience darkness at night. 

Thomas Edison wanted nothing to do with that, so he invented the lightbulb, which gave us the power to rule the night. Now the majority of Americans sit inside in the dark all day (compared to being outside) and then light up the inside of their house at night like a sports stadium. All this does is give your body a lot of confusing signals. When it is supposed to be winding down at night, we are blasting our retinas with blue light from TV, computers, phones, and LED lights. This can shift your CR up to 3 hours later. That is like flying across 3 time zones. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you wake up feeling the effects of jetlag without even traveling.

2) Sleep Apnea

Say hello to the silent killer of the night. Sleep apnea goes undiagnosed quite frequently. If you do not know what sleep apnea is, here is a quick rundown. You are sleeping peacefully until your tongue slides back and blocks your airway. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up as they scream for oxygen. Eventually, your brain does a little mini wakeup, and you let out a chortling sound and start breathing again for a minute until your tongue slides back again.

Tell me how rested you are going to feel in the morning if you have about 60 mini wakeups throughout the night? Not very, and to add insult to injury, the mini wakeups don’t allow you to reach the deep sleep stage where restoration for the body takes place.8 hours of sleep later, and you feel just as tired because you got a faulty charger. 

Other symptoms besides snoring with a stop breathing moment, are dry mouth and chapped lips when you wake up (that’s because you are mouth breathing), frequent wakeups to pee, morning headaches, unexplained raised blood pressure, weight gain, and cognition decline. 

3) You are just plain sleep deprived. Face it.

There is too much to do and not enough time, so how do we “add” time? By subtraction of your sleep, of course. This is a losing game, though. You are not going to “catch up” on sleep on the weekend. 

Let’s assume you need 7 hours of sleep to satisfy your sleep requirement. During the week, with work obligations, social events, and entertainment on the screen, you only get 6 hours. Heading into the weekend, you have a 5-hour sleep debt. You are not going to recover those 5 hours even if you sleep in. Why? If you sleep in more than an hour, you are going to throw your circadian rhythm off. Go back to number 1 and see why that isn’t good—caught between a rock and a hard place. Sleep-deprived or disrupted circadian rhythm??

The way to remedy this is to set a hard bedtime. Plan your day with sleep first in mind, and build everything around that instead of leaving it for whatever is left at the end of the day.

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