More and more people are yawning during the day, because according to statistics, Finns no longer sleep well enough on average.

- Daytime fatigue has become more common.

The phenomenon does not only affect Finland, but in general in Western countries the amount of sleep is too small today, says Tomi Sarkanen, a specialist in neurology at Tampere University Hospital.

According to the latest FinHealth study, one in four women and one in five men do not think they sleep enough.

The study also found that the proportion of those who did not think they slept enough had risen by 5 percentage points for women and 6 percentage points for men between 2011 and 2017.

According to THL's assessment, the disadvantages of poor sleep are likely to become more common.

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"Refuses to believe"

The most common reason for daytime fatigue is that you are pinched from sleep because of a busy everyday life.

It is thus a different phenomenon from insomnia, in which a person is unable to sleep even if he wants to.

- Today, people do know about the importance of sleep, but it is not always applied in everyday life.

One refuses to believe that 5-6 hours of sleep a night is not enough for a long time.

Sarkanen reminds that in reality there is only a small minority of short and long sleepers, and the majority need 7-9 hours of sleep.

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The level of alertness varies throughout the day

What kind of fatigue during the day then is normal?

- It is quite common that the level of alertness varies individually during the day.

It is also completely normal that after a high-carbohydrate lunch, you start to get very tired, Sarkanen answers.

Again, there is nothing strange about having a break after a work day.

- If the brain has to do a lot of work during the day, it is natural that after the work day you are tired and exhausted and need a rest for a while.

Forces should remain in non-mandatory routines

However, exhaustion should not stay on top.

In everyday life, you should have the strength to do things even after a day of work or school.

- If fatigue is so awkward that there is nothing other than coping with compulsory work and routines, then you should stop to think about what it is all about.

Similarly, a more detailed investigation is required if daytime fatigue manifests as irresistible falling asleep.

Many people today are very worried about their memory, but do not know how to combine its clogging with too little night's sleep.

Memory worries many

It is easy to get used to fatigue as a state of being.

For loved ones, it can manifest, for example, that too little sleep has a short surface and is constantly irritable or irritable.

Cognitive symptoms may also occur.

Sarkanen has noticed that many people today are very worried about their memory, but do not know how to combine its tangling with too little sleep.

- If it feels like a snippet, no words can be found, or you notice a jar of milk in a completely wrong place at home, then such symptoms are often due to poor night's sleep and not signs of memory disease.

Start correcting the situation like this

You can correct your own sleep first by stopping to think about your own lifestyle - does you value sleep, and is there enough time set aside for it?

- Then try to prolong the night's sleep by half an hour or an hour and see how it affects your daytime well-being.

Sometimes an improved feeling can be noticed the very next day.

If the sleep deficit, on the other hand, has lasted for a long time, it may take a while to get used to the new rhythm.

- Adequate amount of sleep varies a lot individually.

You know you’ve slept enough for yourself when you’re able to get through the day roughly refreshed.

Identify different types of fatigue

  • The most common cause of all kinds of daytime fatigue is insufficient sleep.

  • If fatigue does not begin to ease the night's sleep by prolonging it, it may also be due to one of the following reasons:

1. Falling asleep

Symptom: Falling asleep during the day is clearly easier than usual, and it can also happen in situations where you would like to be awake.

In passive situations, it is not possible to maintain the alert state.

Cause: The tendency to fall asleep often speaks to the fact that night sleep is broken.

Something is interfering with night sleep - for example, sleep apnea or restless legs.

There is usually a treatable cause for the problem.

2. Excess

Symptom: Fatigue and drowsiness impair the ability to function.

Being too sleepy is hard to stay awake in the evening or wake up in the morning.

Cause: Sleep apnea may also be caused by sleep apnea or a variety of sleep disorders.

Sleep needs more than usual because it is not of good enough quality.

3. Exhaustion

Symptom: Fatigue and fatigue with no tendency to fall asleep.

Cause: This type of fatigue can be related to organic diseases such as hypothyroidism or type 2 diabetes.

Sources: Tomi Sarkanen, Specialist in Neurology, Health Library.

The article was originally published in Ilta-Sanomat on February 10, 2020.