The Most Common Causes Of Sleepiness At Work

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Feb 16, 2023

Everyone’s experienced that mid-afternoon slump at work. You’re trying to stay focused, but your eyelids keep getting heavier and heavier. We’ve all been there – and it’s no surprise why! Sleepiness at work is one of the most common problems among employees, but what could be causing it? In this blog post, we will explore the most common causes of sleepiness at work and how you can combat them to stay alert and productive throughout the day.

Not Enough Sleep

It’s no secret that most people don’t get enough sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third of Americans report that they usually get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night.

The effects of sleep deprivation are well-documented and can lead to a number of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But sleep deprivation can also take a toll on your work performance.

If you’re finding it hard to stay awake during the day, here are some common causes of sleepiness at work:

You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep At Night

This is the most obvious cause of daytime fatigue. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, it’s going to be tough to make it through the day without feeling tired. To ensure you’re getting enough rest, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

You Have An Underlying Health Condition

There are a number of health conditions that can cause fatigue, including anemia, hypothyroidism, and narcolepsy. If you think an underlying health condition may be to blame for your daytime drowsiness, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

Poor Sleep Quality

There are many factors that can contribute to poor sleep quality. For one, working long hours or having an irregular work schedule can make it difficult to get enough rest. Additionally, stress and anxiety can lead to sleepless nights. Other common causes of poor sleep quality include drinking caffeine late in the day, eating a heavy meal before bed, and exposure to bright screens late at night.

If you’re finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep quality. First, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Second, create a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you wind down before going to sleep. This could involve reading or taking a warm bath. Finally, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool—conditions that are conducive to falling asleep quickly and staying asleep throughout the night.

Working Shift Work

There are many different types of shift work, but the most common is working rotating shifts. This can be difficult for your body to adjust to, as you are constantly changing the time you go to sleep and wake up. This can lead to sleepiness during the day, as your body is trying to catch up on the sleep it missed out on the night before.

Another common cause of sleepiness at work is working long hours. If you are working more than eight hours a day, it can be difficult to stay awake and alert for the entire shift. This is especially true if you are not used to working long hours. Your body will slowly start to shut down and you will feel sleepy.

If you are not getting enough sleep at night, it can also lead to sleepiness during the day. Most adults need around seven or eight hours of sleep a night, but if you are only getting five or six, it can take its toll. You may find yourself dozing off at your desk or taking frequent breaks just to try and stay awake.

Finally, some medications can cause drowsiness as a side effect. If you have recently started taking a new medication, check with your doctor to see if this could be the cause of your fatigue at work.

Working Long Hours

Working long hours is one of the most common causes of sleepiness at work. When you work long hours, your body doesn’t have time to recover from the day’s activities. This can lead to fatigue and sleepiness. There are a few things you can do to combat this:

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. You should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Take breaks during the day to rest your body. Even just a 10 minute break can make a big difference.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise helps to increase energy levels and combat fatigue.

Treatments For Excessive Sleepiness At Work

There are a few different things you can do to combat excessive sleepiness at work. First, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep at night. If you’re not getting enough rest, your body will naturally be more inclined to feel sleepy during the day. Second, try to avoid drinking caffeine late in the day. Caffeine can stay in your system for several hours and can make it difficult to fall asleep on a plane or night. Third, get up and move around every few hours. Sitting in one spot for too long can make you feel drowsy. Finally, if you have a desk job, try to set up a standing desk or take regular breaks to walk around.


Sleepiness at work can be caused by a variety of factors, from poor sleep quality to unhealthy eating habits. It’s important to identify the underlying cause and take steps to address it in order to remain productive and alert throughout the day. Taking regular breaks, getting enough rest each night, cutting down on caffeine intake and exercising regularly can all help reduce feelings of sleepiness while at work. Achieving optimal levels of daytime functioning requires paying attention to your body’s needs and making healthy lifestyle choices.

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