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Understanding Your Excessive Daytime Sleeping Better

by Eric Martin
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excessive daytime sleepiness

Excessive sleepiness is the feeling of being especially tired or drowsy during the day. Unlike fatigue, which is more about low energy, excessive daytime sleepiness can make you feel so tired that it interferes with school, work, and possibly even your relationships and day-to-day functioning.

In a poll by the American Sleep Foundation, 18% of respondents reported experiencing excessive sleepiness. But the percentage may actually be much greater.

The key to overcoming excessive sleepiness is to determine its cause. There are several sleep-related problems that need to be evaluated before a diagnosis of IH can be given.

How to Know you Have Excessive Daytime Sleepiness?

Sleepiness is likely a problem for you if:

  • You have trouble waking in the morning.
  • You often feel sleepy during your waking hours.
  • Naps don’t take the edge off your sleepiness.

Along with having to drag yourself through the day, you may also have:

  • Loss of appetite
  • The trouble with thinking or memory
  • Feelings of irritability or anxiety

About 20% of adults have sleepiness severe enough to affect their regular activities.

What Causes Excessive Daytime Sleepiness?

There are many possible causes of excessive daytime sleepiness. One of the most common reasons is a chronic lack of sleep, whether due to long work hours, an irregular schedule, insomnia, or other reasons.

Excessive sleepiness can also be caused by getting fragmented or otherwise poor-quality sleep. Getting up multiple times a night to use the washroom, for example, disrupts the natural progression of the sleep stages and may reduce the proportion of restorative slow-wave sleep. Smoking, not exercising enough, and other lifestyle habits may also interfere with sleep quality and cause daytime sleepiness.

Many people who experience excessive daytime sleepiness don’t appear to have any problems sleeping enough. In these cases, sleepiness may be a sign of an underlying health condition or sleep disorder.

Sleep-Wake Disorders

Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder are known for causing fragmented sleep. These conditions can cause micro-awakenings that disrupt the flow of sleep, though patients may not be aware they have these disorders until they visit a sleep doctor.

Other sleep-wake disorders act more directly on the neurological mechanisms that regulate the sleep cycle. Conditions such as narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia are thought to influence the hormones responsible for promoting wakefulness, causing sleepiness during the day.

Similarly, people with circadian rhythm disorders experience a disconnect between their inner body clock and the times when they need to be awake. This disconnect can cause both insomnia while trying to sleep and also excessive sleepiness while awake.

Other Health Conditions

Chronic medical conditions and mental health disorders are often accompanied by daytime sleepiness. Common culprits include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and hypothyroidism, among others.

Health conditions and sleep problems often have a bidirectional effect. A failure to sleep well can interfere with recovery, and may also predict diagnoses of health issues such as Parkinson’s disease further down the line. Emerging research suggests that the propensity for daytime sleepiness may even have a genetic component.

Medications used to treat health conditions may also cause daytime sleepiness as a side effect, as can substances such as alcohol or narcotics.

Depression

A noticeable change in your sleep schedule is one of the more common symptoms of depression. When you develop depression, you may sleep much more or much less than you used to.

If you aren’t sleeping well at night, you’re likely to experience excessive sleepiness during the day. Sometimes sleep changes are an early sign of depression. For other people, changes in sleeping habits occur after other signs appear.

Depression has many potential causes, including unusual levels of certain brain chemicals, issues with the regions of the brain that manage mood, and traumatic events.

How to Overcome Excessive Sleep (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness)?

 Apart from understanding excessive daytime sleepiness you need to also learn facts about How to overcome excessive sleep (excessive daytime sleepiness).  There are many things you can do to curb your excessive daytime sleepiness. Therefore, here is mentioning below a few ways you can do it. 

  1. Do not work late into the night 
  2. Ensure you go to bed daily at a set time 
  3. Try not to drink caffeine and alcohol 
  4. Before you sleep create an environment filled with peace 
  5. Avoid using medications capable of triggering drowsiness 

Shift Work Sleep Disorder VS Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: 

When you think about Shift work sleep disorder vs excessive daytime sleepiness, then you must understand that there are differences between the two medical conditions associated with sleep. They are as follows:

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Medically speaking, excessive daytime sleepiness is also called ‘Hypersomnia’. Furthermore, if you are suffering from this sleep disorder then you either: 

  1. Very regularly while eating and sleeping falling asleep 
  2. Frequently sleeping in the night but not feeling fresh 

Shift Work Sleep Disorder: 

This is a sleeping disorder that occurs in an individual working during unconventional hours.  More importantly, when you work during odd hours it is the ‘Biological Clock’ or the ‘Circadian Rhythm’ that gets impacted.  This medical condition affects the following components in your body 

  1. Body temperature 
  2. Hunger 
  3. Sleepiness 
  4. Hormone level 
  5. Alertness 

What is Excessive Tiredness in Daytime Due to Sleep Apnea?

If you find yourself feeling extremely sleepy during the day because of sheer tiredness then, you might be suffering from symptom of a sleeping medical condition known as sleep apnea excessive daytime sleepiness.  As per the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 20% of the populations in America suffer from excessive tiredness in daytime caused by sleep apnea. Besides, this condition is said to be one of the most common sleeping disorders in the United States of America. The biggest reason for an individual suffering from excessive tiredness in daytime due to sleep apnea is sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. 

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