lifestyle habits

Why Do Some Women Always Feel Sleepy No Matter How Much They Sleep? Explaining Possible Causes and Solutions!

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Have you ever felt like you've gotten a good night's sleep, but still wake up feeling tired? While this could be due to a lack of sleep or accumulated fatigue, there may be other underlying causes, especially for women. Factors such as menstrual cycles or menopausal changes can affect sleep quality and lead to daytime sleepiness.

In this article, we'll explore some of the reasons why women may feel sleepy even after a full night's rest and offer some tips for getting the rejuvenating sleep you need.

Why do some women feel sleepy despite getting enough sleep?

Is daytime sleepiness after getting enough sleep unique to women?

Several factors can contribute to daytime sleepiness in women, including medical conditions like hypersomnia, lifestyle habits, sleep quality, and hormonal imbalances.

Is it due to female-specific symptoms?

Women are exposed to changes in hormonal balance, such as those during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause. Therefore, they can significantly affect their sleep quality and lead to symptoms like daytime sleepiness.

What causes women to feel sleepy despite getting enough sleep?

What do you think are possible reasons why women may feel sleepy no matter how much they sleep? They can be caused by various factors that may differ depending on their age and environment. Here are some of the main reasons that could contribute to this condition:

Premenstrual Sleepiness, PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

You may feel abnormally sleepy before menstruation. Several factors can contribute to premenstrual sleepiness, including changes in body temperature, autonomic nervous system activity, and levels of neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin.

Cause Reason why feeling sleepy
Body Temperature A slight increase in body temperature before menstruation can occur due to changes in hormone levels. This can make it harder to fall asleep and can reduce sleep quality, leading to a lack of restful sleep.
Autonomic Nervous System The autonomic nervous system includes two parts: one promotes rest and the other activity. During sleep, the restful part is dominant, but before menstruation, decreased estrogen production can decrease its activity, causing increased arousal and difficulty falling asleep.
GABA GABA helps to calm brain activity and reduce tension and stress. However, before menstruation, decreased levels of GABA can lead to increased anxiety and insomnia.
Serotonin Serotonin, known as a “happy hormone,” is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness and well-being. It also plays a role in regulating sleep by promoting the production of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. Before menstruation, decreased levels of serotonin can lead to increased anxiety and difficulty relaxing during sleep, resulting in poor sleep quality.

There are also some other factors causing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is caused by a sudden drop in hormones estrogen and progesterone before menstruation, which can lead to various mental and physical symptoms. These hormonal changes have also been linked to sleepiness. If PMS symptoms are severe and interfere with daily life, it's recommended to consult with a gynecologist or healthcare provider.

Daytime sleepiness after getting enough sleep during pregnancy

During pregnancy, women may experience sleepiness throughout the day due to physiological changes and the demands of carrying a baby. Here's a breakdown of what to expect:

First Trimester: Progesterone, which is actively secreted during pregnancy to promote rest, can cause daytime sleepiness.
Mid-Pregnancy: Nutrient and oxygen delivery to the fetus can cause anemia in the mother, leading to fatigue and sleepiness.
Last Trimester: Discomfort from fetal movements, frequent urination, and back pain can disrupt sleep and cause daytime sleepiness.

It's important to remember that feeling sleepy during pregnancy is normal and to be expected. Instead of fighting it, try to embrace it as a sign that your body needs rest and relaxation.

Sleepiness during menopause

Menopause is a natural transition in a woman's life that occurs around the age of 45-55. During menopause, hormone levels change and become unbalanced, leading to a range of symptoms known as "climacteric disorders." One of these symptoms is sleepiness.

As the levels of "estrogen," one of the female hormones, rapidly decrease during menopause, the autonomic nervous system can become unbalanced, causing the sympathetic nervous system to dominate. This can disrupt the quality of sleep, leading to sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness.

Other menopausal symptoms can also contribute to sleepiness, such as hot flashes, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and insomnia. If these symptoms are causing significant discomfort, it's recommended to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional, such as a gynecologist or menopause specialist.

Stress and disturbance of autonomic nerves system

When we're stressed, our autonomic nervous system becomes imbalanced, leading to increased arousal and excitement. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Even if we do sleep, stress can reduce the amount of non-REM sleep we get, which is essential for our brain to recover from fatigue. Without enough non-REM sleep, we may feel sleep-deprived and exhausted during the day.

Disturbance in the rhythms of life

Having a regular sleep schedule is essential for good quality sleep, but maintaining it can be challenging when you have an irregular work schedule. Irregular schedules, such as working different shifts or working at different times like night shifts, can disrupt your sleep cycle and affect your ability to sleep well because your sleep rhythm is not regular.

Health issues

If you're getting enough sleep but still feeling excessive daytime sleepiness, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as "hypersomnia," that requires medical attention. If you're concerned about your level of sleepiness, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Abnormal sleepiness could be a sign of illness

Sleep Apnea Syndrome

It's a disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, along with loud snoring. When breathing stops, the body becomes oxygen-deprived, which can cause the brain to wake up defensively to resume breathing. However, repeated episodes of sleep apnea can prevent the patient from achieving deep sleep.

That's why daytime sleepiness caused by sleep apnea can have dangerous consequences, such as falling asleep at work or while driving. Treatment options for sleep apnea syndrome vary depending on the severity of the condition.


Hypersomnia is suspected when a person experiences excessive daytime sleepiness with no apparent physical illness or medication causing the sleepiness. Some types of hypersomnia include narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, and recurrent hypersomnia, each with its own set of symptoms.

Types of Hypersomnia Main Symptoms
Narcolepsy (dozing disease): Excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep or sleep paralysis.
Idiopathic Hypersomnia This type of hypersomnia is characterized by prolonged periods of sleepiness, long sleep duration (more than 1 hour), difficulty waking up, and a lack of refreshed feeling upon waking. Patients may also lose track of time and place when forced to wake up.
Recurrent Hypersomnia It is marked by episodes of excessive sleepiness that last for several days to weeks, followed by a period of complete recovery. During these episodes, patients may experience an unreal feeling upon waking, as if they are still dreaming, and may have changes in appetite.

Atypical Depression

"Atypical depression," also known as "depression affected by the weather," is characterized by persistent feelings of depression that can be temporarily lifted by positive events, but the depressed mood eventually returns. Unlike traditional forms of depression, atypical depression can be associated with weight gain, increased appetite, and oversleeping.

It is more commonly observed in women, especially in their teens to 30s.

Where to seek help if you suspect an illness

If you're experiencing symptoms that concern you, it's important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. Here are some suggestions for where to go:

Consult a gynecologist
If you suspect that hormonal imbalances may be contributing to your symptoms, a gynecologist can help diagnose and treat hormonal issues.
Seek a sleep specialist

If you're experiencing symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as hypersomnia or insomnia, a "sleep specialist," such as a psychiatrist or psychosomatic medicine specialist at a hospital specializing in sleep disorders, can help diagnose and treat the underlying cause.

Start with a family doctor
If you're unsure where to start, a family doctor can help you determine the best course of action and provide a referral to a specialist if necessary.

Measures to improve daytime sleepiness

There are several measures that can be taken in daily life to improve daytime sleepiness, including exercise, diet, and improving sleep quality.

  1. Moderate exercise
  2. Diet
  3. Improving sleep quality

1.Moderate exercise

Moderate physical activity, like walking or light jogging, can help regulate the body's internal clock, which helps promote better sleep. It's recommended to engage in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, but try to avoid strenuous exercise within three hours of bedtime, as it can interfere with sleep.


If you're feeling persistently fatigued despite getting enough sleep, your diet may be a contributing factor. Here are some nutritional tips to help boost your energy.

Focus on key nutrients: Make sure to include carbohydrates, fat, protein, and the vitamin B group in your diet to provide your body with the energy it needs.

Prioritize protein for breakfast: Eating protein in the morning can help increase serotonin levels, which promotes sleep and balances the autonomic nervous system. Consider including protein-rich foods like soy products, dairy, eggs, and lean fish in your breakfast.

Avoid midday sleepiness-inducing foods: To prevent midday fatigue, be mindful of your lunchtime food choices. Avoid carbohydrate-heavy or high-fat foods, as they can cause blood glucose spikes and lead to feelings of sleepiness. Instead of choosing individual dishes, opt for balanced set meals that can provide a range of nutrients without overindulging.

3.Improving sleep quality

The length of your sleep isn't the only factor in determining your energy levels throughout the day. The quality of your sleep is equally important, and there are several things you can do to improve it.

Avoid late-night eating: Finish your meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your body to properly digest and avoid discomfort that can disrupt sleep.

Limit stimulants and alcohol: Avoid caffeine and smoking before bedtime, as they can stimulate the nervous system and interfere with sleep. While alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, it can disrupt sleep quality later in the night.

Ways to combat daytime sleepiness

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmingly sleepy during the day. Here are some ways to help combat daytime sleepiness:

  1. Refresh with cold sensations
  2. Stretch your body
  3. Hydrate and replenish
  4. Take a short nap
  5. Try acupressure

1.Refresh with cold sensations

If you're feeling sleepy, try refreshing your face and neck with a cold, damp towel. If you have access to a refrigerator at work, you can chill the towel for an even more effective wake-up call. Additionally, cooling sprays and gels can also help combat sleepiness and provide a powerful boost of alertness.

2.Stretch your body

When humans remain in the same position for a long period of time, muscles can become tense and rigid, leading to poor blood circulation and drowsiness. Stretching can help alleviate this by encouraging movement and improving blood flow. Just standing up and stretching can help you feel more refreshed.

3.Hydrate and replenish

Drinking water or tea can help combat sleepiness. Cold water provides more of a stimulating effect on the body, including the brain, compared to room temperature water.

Coffee and green tea are also recommended for combating sleepiness, as they contain higher levels of caffeine than other types of tea. Among green teas, Ryokucha has the highest caffeine content and is therefore the most effective at promoting alertness.

In addition, low blood sugar levels can also lead to sleepiness. When this occurs, it's important to replenish with glucose to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Glucose is a simple sugar that is quickly absorbed by the body and provides immediate energy.

4.Take a short nap

When feeling excessively sleepy, it may be best to take a short nap to recharge. However, it's important to do so in a way that doesn'tdisrupt your nighttime sleep. To avoid this, it's best to nap between noon and 2 PM, and to avoid napping after 4 PM. Keep the nap to 30 minutes or less, and try to sleep in a shallow, light sleep position, such as lying on a desk or reclining in a chair.

Before taking a nap, drinking a hot cup of coffee can also be beneficial. Not only will it warm up your stomach and make it easier to fall asleep, but the caffeine will help you wake up feeling refreshed and alert.

5.Try acupressure

When feeling sleepy in a quiet environment such as an office or conference room, using acupressure to stimulate certain pressure points can help combat drowsiness. Simply pinching and lightly pulling on the earlobes can be effective in waking you up.

Additionally, there are pressure points on the hands and feet that can be stimulated for alertness. These include the indentation between the bones in the webbing between the thumb and index finger, as well as the center of the palm. Stimulating the soles of the feet is also an effective method for combating sleepiness.

Many massage mats that target acupressure points on the soles of the feet are available in the market nowadays. Utilizing these mats while sitting at a desk can be an effective way to combat drowsiness and maintain alertness.

Tips for getting a good night's sleep

Improving the quality of sleep is key to overcoming persistent daytime sleepiness. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help you create a more conducive environment for a good night's sleep:

  1. Soak up the morning sun
  2. Get moving during the day
  3. Take a warm bath or shower
  4. Unplug before bed
  5. Try relaxation techniques

1.Soak up the morning sun

Exposure to natural sunlight in the morning can help reset the body's internal clock and increase serotonin production. Melatonin, a hormone that promotes quality sleep, is believed to be secreted about 16 hours after exposure to sunlight. Therefore, it's important to let in plenty of morning sunshine by opening the curtains and windows soon after waking up.

2.Get moving during the day

Regular exercise during the day can help promote better sleep at night. For those who have limited time for exercise due to work commitments, there are still ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Take the stairs whenever possible, walk from the train station before your usual stop, or choose to cycle instead of driving.

3.Take a warm bath or shower

You may feel sleepy at night when your body temperature decreases in preparation for sleep. To promote a restful sleep, it's recommended to take a warm bath or shower in lukewarm water of around 38-39°C about two hours before bedtime. The warm water will help relax your body and raise your internal temperature, which can make it easier to fall asleep.

4.Unplug before bed

The blue light emitted from computer and smartphone screens can trick the brain into thinking it's still daytime, delaying the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and can lower the quality of sleep. To promote better sleep, avoid using electronic devices in the 30 minutes before bed. If you're still having trouble falling asleep, try reading a book or engaging in another relaxing activity.

5.Try relaxation techniques

Listening to calming music or using aromatherapy before bed can contribute to better sleep quality. Avoid listening to loud or stimulating music, such as heavy metal, and opt for relaxing genres like classical or soothing instrumental tracks.

Some recommended scents for relaxation include lavender, which can reduce tension and stress, bergamot, which has both relaxing and refreshing properties, and sandalwood, which can alleviate anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

Recap and Conclusion

In this article, we've explored the various reasons why you might feel sleepy even after getting enough sleep. While some causes, such as hormonal fluctuations unique to women, can be challenging to control, others, such as underlying health conditions, can be addressed through medical intervention. It's important to seek medical attention if you're concerned about persistent sleepiness.

Reduce the impact of sleepiness in women through lifestyle changes

For women, sleepiness can be influenced by hormonal imbalances, which can be challenging to overcome. By making lifestyle changes and finding ways to manage your individual sleepiness triggers, you can reduce the impact of sleepiness on your daily life. Focus on getting high-quality sleep and avoiding being controlled by sleepiness as much as possible.

With a little effort, you can improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling more rested and energized!