AskDefine | Define drowsiness

Dictionary Definition

drowsiness n : a very sleepy state; "sleepiness causes many driving accidents" [syn: sleepiness, somnolence] [ant: wakefulness]

User Contributed Dictionary



drowsy + -ness


  1. State of being drowsy.


State of being drowsy

Extensive Definition

Somnolence (or "drowsiness") is a state of near-sleep, a strong desire for sleep, or sleeping for unusually long periods (c.f. hypersomnia). It has two distinct meanings, referring both to the usual state preceding falling asleep, and the chronic condition referring to being in that state independent of a circadian rhythm. The disorder characterized by the latter condition is most commonly associated with users of prescription hypnotics, such as mirtazapine or zolpidem.
It is considered a lesser impairment of consciousness than stupor or coma.


Sleepiness can be dangerous when performing tasks that require constant concentration, such as driving a vehicle. When a person is sufficiently fatigued, he or she may experience microsleeps (loss of concentration).

Associated conditions

drowsiness in Bosnian: Somnolencija
drowsiness in German: Somnolenz
drowsiness in Korean: 졸림
drowsiness in Croatian: Somnolencija
drowsiness in Italian: Sonnolenza
drowsiness in Polish: Somnolencja
drowsiness in Swedish: Somnolens
drowsiness in Thai: ความง่วง

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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