Drowsiness: Causes, Treatments & Prevention
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What causes drowsiness? 45 possible conditions

Feeling abnormally sleepy or tired during the day is commonly known as drowsiness. Drowsiness may lead to additional symptoms, such as forgetfulness or falling asleep at inappropriate times. What Are the Causes of Drowsiness? A variety of things may cause... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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2

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke (a "brain attack") is a medical emergency in which part of the brain is deprived of oxygen. This occurs when an artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the brain becomes damaged and brain cells begin to die.

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3

Delirium

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Delirium is an abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. It makes it difficult to think, remember, sleep, pay attention, and more. You might experience the condition durin...

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4

Concussion

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Usually it occurs after an impact to your head or after a whiplash-type injury. A concussion can cause many severe symptoms that affect brain function.

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5

Hypovolemic Shock

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Hypovolemic shock (hemorrhagic shock) is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20 percent of your body's blood or fluid supply, preventing the heart from pumping sufficient blood to your body.

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6

Cardiogenic Shock

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart has been damaged to the point where it's unable to supply enough blood to the organs of the body.

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7

Meningitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Meningitis can affect you differently depending on your age. Learn more about the symptoms and risk factors for each age group.

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8

Encephalitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue. It's most often caused by viral infections. In some cases, bacterial infections can cause encephalitis.

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9

The Catastrophy of Cardiac Tamponade

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Cardiac tamponade is a very serious condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to your body due to fluid buildup around your heart.

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10

Low Blood Sodium (Hyponatremia)

Low blood sodium, or hyponatremia, occurs when water and sodium are out of balance in your body. A quick drop in sodium levels can cause weakness, headache, nausea, and muscle cramps.

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11

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a disorder of the nervous system that causes drowsiness and sleep attacks. Read more about this disorder.

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12

Brain Tumor

A brain tumor is a collection or mass of abnormal cells in your brain. A brain tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

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13

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders/disturbances can cause your sleep to be disturbed. Disturbed sleep includes the inability to fall asleep, the inability to go back to sleep, and frequent waking up during the night. Sleep disorders ca...

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14

Migraine with Aura

Migraine is a disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache. Symptoms include throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on only one side of the head, and can last between four hours and three days.

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15

Hypercalcemia

Hypercalcemia is a condition in which you have too much calcium in your blood.

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16

Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute mountain sickness, or altitude sickness, is a condition that occurs when your body can't adjust to a high level of altitude.

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17

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland produces a hormone that controls how your cells use energy (metabolize). Hypothyroidism occurs when the body doesn't produce enough. Untreated, it can cause complications like obesity and heart disease.

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18

Nicotine Dependence

Nicotine addiction occurs when a person becomes addicted to nicotine, which is a chemical found in tobacco. The addiction is physical, mental, and behavioral.

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19

Mini Stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

During a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini stroke) blood stops flowing to the brain for a short period of time. TIA doesn't kill brain cells like a stroke does. TIA causes symptoms that mimic those of a stroke.

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20

Epidural Hematoma

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An epidural hematoma occurs when blood fills the area between the skull and the protective covering of the brain. It usually results from a traumatic injury to the head, and puts you at risk for brain damage or death.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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