15 common causes of drowsiness

A feeling of being wrapped up in cotton - one perceives the environment to a limited extent, reacts slower and feels "as if half-asleep". Drowsiness is a condition that is usually perceived as unpleasant, for which there can be many different causes. We explain what can be behind dizziness and what you can do about it.

What is dizziness?

According to medical definition, drowsiness is the easiest form of quantitative consciousness disorder. This means that with clear consciousness the alertness (vigilance) is reduced.

The increases in drowsiness are somnolence (drowsiness), sopor (a deep sleep-like state), and coma. Delineation of quantitative disturbances of consciousness is a clouding of consciousness that can manifest itself, for example, through confusion or orientation disorders.

Drowsiness and concomitant symptoms

In drowsiness thinking and acting are slowed down, perception is delayed and information is processed in a limited way. Often concentration difficulties occur, attention and memory ability can be reduced. Not infrequently drowsiness is accompanied by dizziness, pressure in the head or fatigue.

What causes dizziness?

Behind dizziness may be various harmless causes, but even serious illnesses can express themselves through a feeling of drowsiness. We have summarized for you an overview of possible causes of dizziness:

  1. Dehydration: Dehydration may be manifested by drowsiness, usually in combination with fatigue and headache. Make sure you always drink enough water. A good guideline is roughly two liters per day.
  2. Low blood pressure or slow heart rate: Dizziness can be an indication of a circulatory problem, especially with dizziness.
  3. Lack of sleep: Not enough sleep can cause tiredness as well as a sense of drowsiness.
  4. Alcohol consumption: Both in acute intoxication as well as the "hangover" the morning after it can cause dizziness in the head.
  5. Drugs like cannabis, ecstasy or "knockout drops" can cause drowsiness.
  6. Infections: An infection - such as the Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease or flu can lead to pronounced tiredness, fatigue and drowsiness. These concomitant symptoms may still persist for several weeks after the disease.
  7. Cervical spine syndrome: Dizziness and dizziness can occur as part of a cervical spine syndrome, which can be caused by tension or signs of wear and tear on the cervical spine (cervical spine).
  8. Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland is underactive, the entire metabolism is slowed down - fatigue, lack of concentration and drowsiness can be symptoms.
  9. Blood sugar derailment: Low blood sugar or high blood sugar levels can occur especially in diabetes mellitus - both can lead to drowsiness.
  10. Head injury (traumatic brain injury): After falling, bumping or hitting the head, you may experience severe drowsiness, such as concussion or cerebral hemorrhage.
  11. Stroke: In an acute circulatory disorder of the brain such as a stroke, it usually comes to neurological symptoms such as paralysis, visual and speech disorders. However, in some cases, nonspecific symptoms such as drowsiness, head pressure and dizziness are the only signs.
  12. Meningitis: Besides dizziness, headache, fever and neck stiffness (neck stiffness) are typical symptoms of meningitis.
  13. Brain tumor: Brain masses such as a tumor or abscess can increase brain pressure and thus lead to disturbances of consciousness. However, these are very rare causes of drowsiness.
  14. Mental Causes: Drowsiness may occur in mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders or borderline disorder. Stress can also be a possible trigger for a feeling of drowsiness.

15. Cause: Dizziness due to medication

Many medications can make you dizzy as a side effect. These include, in particular, sedatives and sleep aids, which can lead to a "hangover" the next morning if they are taken late in the evening. In addition, the following drugs, among others, can cause drowsiness:

  • Antihistamines such as dimethindene (Fenistil®), doxylamine (Hoggar® Night) or dimenhydrinate (Vomex®) are used against allergies, sleep disorders and nausea. They work in the central nervous system and can make you feel tired and dizzy.
  • Antipsychotics have an effect on the psyche and are used, for example, in schizophrenia. In particular, the so-called low-potency antipsychotics such as pipamperone can lead to dizziness as a side effect.
  • Antihypertensives such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors can cause a dizziness, especially in high dosages, by lowering blood pressure.
  • Antidepressants such as amitryptilin not only work against depression but can also be used for chronic pain. Fatigue and drowsiness are common side effects.
  • Opiates such as tramadol and morphine are powerful painkillers that can cause drowsiness.

This is just a selection of drug groups where drowsiness is particularly common as a side effect. In addition, there are many other medicines that can cause drowsiness in some people.

What to do against dizziness?

Drowsiness is not a disease, but a symptom whose cause it is to find out. The question "How do you treat drowsiness?" Therefore you can not answer flat rate.

Nevertheless, you can try with a few tricks to get to the bottom of the feeling of drowsiness:

  • Drink a large glass of water to counteract any possible lack of fluids.
  • Keep your wrists under cold water or splash cold water on your face to stimulate the circulation.
  • Changing showers or Kneipp castings can also help the circulation.
  • A brisk walk in the fresh air can help with drowsiness to get a clear head.
  • Take a short nap - but beware: if you sleep more than 30 minutes during the day, you may feel dizzy afterwards.

Dazed: When to the doctor?

If you suffer from a constant feeling of drowsiness and none of the above-mentioned self-help measures improve, you should consult a doctor to rule out serious conditions as the cause.

You should also seek medical advice as soon as possible with the following warning signs:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • high fever
  • Neck stiffness: Pain in head flexion
  • sudden or very severe headache
  • during the day increasing drowsiness with difficulty to stay awake
  • Paralysis, numbness, vision or speech disorders
  • Essence changes, conspicuous behavior or apathy
  • seizures

If you have recently taken a new medication and the constant drowsiness is related to time, you should tell your doctor. Under no circumstances should you sell the drug without medical consultation!

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