Many people around the world suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, and it can be a serious problem that can affect their lives. After all, if you feel sudden drowsiness due to your daytime sleepiness, you may end up falling asleep at work, in the middle of a meeting, while you are eating, or even when you are behind the wheel on a busy highway. It is important to understand as much as possible about this disorder, as well as what causes it, why it happens, and how to deal with it. Below is everything you need to know about this problem.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Getting Checked Out
When you get checked out, your doctor will ask a few questions to determine whether or not you have EDS, as well as what could be causing it:
How well and how much can you sleep at night?
Are you forward to snoring?
Do you randomly sleep during the day without intending to?
Do you suffer from depression, anxiety or stress?
Do you take medications or have you done anything to try to tie the sleepiness?
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Causes
EDS is caused by a number of different things, and it is considered a symptom of a disorder rather than a disorder itself. Obviously it is a problem, but it is usually a side effect of one of the many causes:
Genetic Predisposition – Some people are just genetically predisposed to be sleepy during the day, though EDS is usually a more serious symptom than just being tired in the middle of the day.
Drug Abuse – Substance abuse can usually lead to EDS, as taking drugs and drinking pasts your body from sleeping well at night. Seeing as your body is not resting properly during the time when it is supposed to, it tries to make up for the lack of rest by trying to sleep during the day.
Insufficient Sleep – Many of the busy professionals around the world just do not get enough sleep, and EDS is basically your body catching up to you. If you sleep less than 6 hours per night, it may be the reason that you feel so drowsy during the day.
Sleep Disorders – If you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia, or what is known as restless legs syndrome, it is probable that your body is not getting sufficient during the night when it should. It therefore attempts to recoup its lost sleep by resting during the day, so EDS is caused.
Emotional Disorders – There are a few emotional disorders that can cause EDS, such as clinical or atypical depression. These depressions are marked by stress and anxiety, which results you from sleeping at night. The drowsiness that you feel during the day is caused by the depression that precedes you from sleeping.
Sleep Misalignment – Those suffering from jet lag will usually feel very tired during the day, as their circadian sleep pattern has been disrupted. Those working shifts may feel the drowsiness when they change their shift from day to night, or vice versa. Those with circadian rhythm sleep disorders may also suffer from EDS.
Medical Conditions – There are certain medical conditions that can cause extreme drowsiness during the day, such as anemia, hypothyroidism, or kidney failure. If you receive an injury to your head, it may also cause EDS. Those that have had their central nervous system damaged may also find EDS is a problem, as well as those with tumors.
These are the main causes of EDS, and sleep specialists will be able to determine which the primary causes of your extreme drowsiness are during the day.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Cures
There are a number of treatments that can be used to cure the EDS, depending on the cause. For example, those with sleep apnea will use a CPAP device to help them sleep better at night, those with depression will be given medication to deal with the emotional causes, or those taking drugs are recommended to cease immediately. Often dealing with the main cause of the EDS can help to clear up the symptom.
Some doctors will recommend medication to help deal with the EDS itself, or therapy will be recommended to help improve sleep patterns.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Effects
The effects of the EDS can be quite dangerous, especially if you feel tired in the middle of the day and you are participating in some activity like driving, operating heavy machinery, or anything else that requires constant attention.
For those in office positions, the risk of EDS seriously interfering with their lives in a dangerous way is much smaller. It will, however, cause loss of focus, a lack in concentration, and a strong desire to nap constantly.
The person suffering from EDS typically appears as if they were inxicated, as the body is overwhelming the mind with the desire to sleep. It can be hard to stay awake during the day, while sleep at night is also difficult.