Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes daytime sleepiness in athletes?"
I'm a 26 year old male runner and get SO tired during the day. Why does this keep happening?
Daytime sleepiness in athletes is likely caused by some of the same issues that affect non-athletes, although obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is more common among those who are obese. As athletes are generally more physically fit then there sedentary counterparts, this is less likely to be the cause. That being said, if you have heard that you snore, hold your breath at night, or awaken feeling that you have to gasp for breath, OSA could be the cause. Another cause that would be more common in someone in your age group would include too little sleep at night (an obvious cause that is not addressed as often as it should be), with 8 hours of sleep being about average for most people. Also, poor sleep hygiene can cause your sleep to be less effective, and leave you lying awake or awakening at night and thus making you not feel rested during the day. There are less common causes of daytime sleepiness as well, such as medication side effects, narcolepsy, and motor disorders such as restless leg syndrome (periodic limb movement disorder). Please speak with your primary care doctor about your complaints and any other associated symptoms to maximize your well being.
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