Q. How to avoid daytime sleepiness and falling asleep suddenly?

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 07, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 27-year-old female, and I started to fall asleep randomly. It is difficult for me to stay awake during the daytime even though I sleep well during the night. I fall asleep even in the shower. I am worried that I am going to crash while driving. It already happened once, and I went to the emergency room, but they did nothing. I am having this issue for the past month.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for the query. I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from falling asleep suddenly anywhere and in any situation.

According to your description, you may suffer from narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that can affect the ability to be awake and sleep. A person with narcolepsy can suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and may suddenly fall asleep anytime, during any situation, or any activity.

The exact cause of narcolepsy is unknown. But, it is assumed that lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin is the cause of narcolepsy. Other triggering factors are depression, thyroid hormone dysfunction, history of infections like swine flu infection, hormonal changes, sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, medications, history of drug abuse, etc.

I suggest you do polysomnography, multiple sleep latency test, thyroid function tests, CBC (complete blood count), and RBS (random blood sugar) to rule out the cause.

There is no definite cure for narcolepsy. Lifestyle modifications like taking daytime naps for 10 to15 minutes, eating smaller meals frequently, maintaining a daily exercise routine, controlling the sleep schedule strictly, avoiding cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, taking some medications like stimulants and antidepressants may help ease your symptoms of narcolepsy. You can also consult with a neurologist.

Take care.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your assessment.

Is it possible for my ADHD to produce this effect?




Welcome back to

Yes, you are right. Narcolepsy has a significant association with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

ADHD and narcolepsy may share genetic links. Many people with ADHD may suffer from daytime sleepiness due to poor sleep. So, both narcolepsy and ADHD may present the same clinical features of excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep disturbance.

Narcolepsy are more common within ADHD patients than in the general population. So, both ADHD and narcolepsy may show the same symptoms, and treatment may also be the same for both of them.

Nowadays, Modafinil is commonly used for treating excessive daytime sleepiness in the case of narcolepsy. Modafinil is also used to treat ADHD.

Take care.

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