What should I do if I always feel tired?

This question was asked in East Haven, Connecticut on 01/03/2013.
I'm not sure if it's normal that I can sleep almost all day and night. I have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning, and most days I don't even hear an alarm clock. I wake up several times in the middle of the night, but it's not hard to fall back to sleep. I feel tired when I'm awake, and I feel tired when I wake up. I can never get enough sleep. I don't know if this is a normal thing, or I actually have a problem. I was thinking if a sleep study would be needed, but I figured I would talk to someone first. If you could write back to me I'd appreciate it very much. Thanks!

Doctors Answers (5)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 1/11/2013

If you have a normal amount of sleep you should not feel tired. Of course, there are many causes for feeling tired such as thyroid disorders or anemia. Assuming those medical issues are excluded as a cause then you must assume that the sleep you are getting is not quality sleep. Five hours of good sleep is better than 10 hours of poor sleep. It is best to undergo a sleep study and have it interpreted by a board certified sleep doctor who can determine the quality of your sleep. Then, often with medication, the sleep pattern can be corrected. Leg movements and sleep disordered breathing which often cause arousals can also be assessed with a sleep study.

Courtney Whitney, DO
Answered on: 1/7/2013 5

Feeling tired all the time is not normal and obviously affects your quality of life and safety while driving. Being tired all the time along with your numerous nighttime arousals could indicate a sleep disorder. It is best to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist to evaluate your symptoms, medical history and sleep behaviors. An overnight and daytime sleep study might be needed to rule out several possibilities for your sleepiness and your awakenings.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 1/7/2013 5

Yes, definitely you should seek an evaluation by a sleep specialist. There are many causes for being tired. If you are sleeping 7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep and still tired all day long, this is not normal.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 1/4/2013 5

Daytime fatigue and frequent night time wakening are very common symptoms of various sleep disorders. It would be a good idea to schedule an evaluation with a sleep specialist to discuss your symptoms along with your health history to determine the best course of action.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 1/4/2013 5

A sleep study would be a good idea to establish a baseline of your current sleep quality to help determine if there are any sleep breathing disorders that are contributing to your daytime tiredness.