There’s a very big difference between feeling ‘sleepy’ versus ‘tired’.

Sleepiness is where someone doesn’t just feel lethargic, but rather significantly tired to the point they wish to fall asleep during the day or think they could easily fall asleep during the day.

One good question to ask yourself is this — when was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed in the morning?

If you’re waking up and not feeling refreshed, then this means you need to take a good, hard look at your sleep schedule and patterns.

“There can be lots of issues involved with this. One is it could be obstructive sleep apnoea, where your airways are blocked overnight and not getting enough oxygen. People will then often wake up with a headache, they might have high blood pressure and they’ll feel sleepy throughout the day,” says Dr McKay.

“This is an issue that needs to be addressed. There are all of these things that can lead to sleepiness.”

Listen to this topic on Mamamia’s news podcast The Quicky. Post continues after audio. 

Now when it comes to tiredness, there’s a different approach.

“Fatigue is a slightly different category. Anything from low iron levels, thyroid problems, stress, anxiety and depression,” notes Dr McKay.