Difference Between Sleepiness & Fatigue

Sleepiness and fatigue can cause feelings of tiredness. You may wish to learn the differences between sleepiness and fatigue if you suffer from insomnia or tiredness during the day. Although these feelings occur in different areas of the body many people still confuse the terms. According to SleepTreatments.com the different effects of tiredness can affect your sleeping patterns.

  1. Head Versus Body

    • The main difference between sleepiness and fatigue is that you feel sleepiness in your head and mind, whereas fatigue occurs in your body. According to Sleep-Apnea-Guide.com sleepiness can cause your eyes to feel heavy and you may find it difficult to concentrate as your mind drifts, whereas fatigue can cause you to feel physically de-energized and can cause achy or sore muscles. Chronic fatigue syndrome can cause you to experience symptoms such as headaches, a sore throat, depression, nausea and multiple joint pains.

    Sleep and Rest

    • Sleep can often alleviate the feelings of sleepiness, but this is not always the case with fatigue, which physical exertion can cause. Fatigue will generally make you want to lie down to rest your body without feeling the urge to sleep, although fatigue will not be enough to send you to sleep. According to SleepTreatment.com insomniacs often have trouble sleeping because they try to go to sleep when they are experiencing feelings of fatigue rather than sleepiness. You may find that sleep does not help to effectively restore your energy levels if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.


    • You may experience daytime sleepiness if you suffer from sleep apnea, consume mind-altering substances including caffeine and alcohol, sleep for less than eight hours per night or take medications that list drowsiness as one of the side effects. You may experience fatigue if you suffere from a head injury, depression, Parkinson's disease, cancer or HIV. Contact your doctor if you are concerned that you may be suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue syndrome.

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  • Photo Credit weariness image by Yuriy Poznukhov from Fotolia.com

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