Medical Specialty >> Endocrinology

Doctors Lounge - Endocrinology Answers

Back to Endocrinology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Sudden overwhelming drowsiness followed by 'hangover'

 dekuji63 - Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:05 pm

Hello - I've been experiencing this issue off and on for several years and have had glucose level testing done which has always come back normal. However, during my last pregnancy, I failed the glucose tolerance test by a small amount (can't remember the actual numbers at this point since it's been 12 years or so!). My thyroid was removed and I've been taking 12.5 mcg of liothyronine and 1.0 mg of levothyroxine daily for years, with TSH in low-normal range and T3/T4 levels stable.

Typically, the scenario has been that I'd eat a meal and within 10-15 minutes, I'd be unable to stay awake, feeling a slight nausea and an overwhelming need to sleep. If I tried to fight it, I would just feel sicker and sicker, then I'd fall asleep. The sleep is deep. I'd almost equate it to general anaesthesia where you are there and then you're not.

The sleep seems to last about an hour or sometimes more. If I am roused during the sleep, I wake feeling groggy, with a headache, fogged thinking, feeling completely drained of energy and an undercurrent of nausea. It reminds me of the few college-aged hangovers I had. That feeling is difficult to overcome, sometimes for hours.

I altered my diet somewhat and the symptoms went away. However, I've returned to less careful eating and I've experienced the "crash" again. What troubles me more is that the most recent events have occurred without the typical meal first. In the past month, I believe I've had this occur at least four times without having had a meal, usually in the mid-afternoon 3-4PM, long after lunch and before supper.

I know my PCP will be happy to try more bloodwork but it's been normal forever and he doesn't especially dig around and look for alternatives once the bloodwork shows up alright. If I can have some additional possible insights, I know he'd pursue them with me. Thank you for any suggestions!
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:40 am

User avatar Hello,Obstuctive sleep apnea is an important problem affecting diabetics,people with obesity,and cardiovascular disease.This is now being recognized as one of the important causes of daytime sleeping and a risk factorfor adverse CVS events.The shared risk is obesity.This is caused tdue to airway obstruction during sleep.Tonsillar enlargement,abnormal anatomy of air ways,alcohol,sleeping position,insulin resistance,metabolic syndrome,diabetic autonomic neuropathy all may contribute to this condition.Overnight polysomnography in a sleep lab would be diagnostic.Continuous airway pressure therapy,treatment of obesity,treatment of nasal allergy,dental appliances and rarely uvulopalatopharyngoplasty are the treatment modalities.
Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us