Problem Sleepiness - Medical Conditions and Drugs

Please describe a medical condition or drug that may have caused your problem sleepiness.

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Medical conditions/drugs

Certain medical conditions and drugs, including prescription medications, can also disrupt sleep and cause problem sleepiness. Examples include:

  • Chronic illnesses such as asthma, congestive heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other chronically painful disorder;
  • Some medications to treat high blood pressure, some heart medications, and asthma medications such as theophylline;
  • Alcohol-Although some people use alcohol to help themselves fall asleep, it causes sleep disruption during the night, which can lead to problem sleepiness during the day. Alcohol is also a sedating drug that can, even in small amounts, make a sleepy person much more sleepy and at greater risk for car crashes and performance problems;
  • Caffeine-Whether consumed in coffee, tea, soft drinks, or medications, caffeine makes it harder for many people to fall asleep and stay asleep. Caffeine stays in the body for about 3 to 7 hours, so even when taken earlier in the day it can cause problems with sleep at night; and
  • Nicotine from cigarettes or a skin patch is a stimulant and makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
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