While we all love the feeling of evening sleepiness that leads to experiencing a great night’s sleep, having excessive feelings of sleepiness during the day can be problematic if not addressed and treated. Excessive daytime sleepiness may be a significant detriment to both your health and safety. Excessive daytime sleepiness can lead to psychological and emotional issues such as anxiety, irritability, lack of mental clarity, or depression. The risk of falling asleep while driving or operating other machinery is also high, as is the risk of falling when doing normal daily activities.
Common Symptoms of Excessive Sleepiness
Some common symptoms of daytime sleepiness are:
- Feeling excessive sleepiness or drowsiness that interferes with your ability to function
- Easily dozing off in sedentary activities like reading, watching TV, or sitting
- Having the need to take regular naps- especially if they are frequent, lengthy, and don’t leave you refreshed
- Poor attention and concentration, or problems with short-term memory
Common Reasons for Excessive Sleepiness
Fortunately, once underlying causes of daytime sleepiness are identified, your doctor can better recommend effective treatments. Here are seven common culprits for excessive daytime sleepiness:
- Poor Sleep Habits: Perhaps the most common cause of experiencing excessive drowsiness during the day, a poor sleep routine often leads to not getting enough sleep during the day.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition in which you repeatedly, partially, or completely stop breathing while asleep. The disruptions caused by this condition lead to sleep fragmentation and poor-quality sleep. The result can be excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Narcolepsy: This sleep disorder occurs when there is a problem with the way your body regulates sleep and wakefulness. Feelings of sleepiness may occur in the day, and feelings of wakefulness may occur at night.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): CFS is marked by fatigue that occurs after exertion. It is also associated with less refreshing sleep and frequent joint and muscle pain.
- Kleine-Levin Syndrome: While very rare, this condition typically affects young adults and is marked by recurrent episodes of sleepiness. These episodes can last days, weeks, or months at a time.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: The excessive movements and discomfort that this disorder causes during sleep are associated with daytime sleepiness.
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders: These disorders affect the sleep phases, overriding the body’s normal responses to light and darkness as a zeitgeber to regulate your sleep.
Struggling with Daytime Sleepiness?
If you struggle with persistent sleepiness, consider an evaluation by our board-certified sleep physician. At the Jacksonville Sleep Center, our patients receive undivided attention and the latest methods for assessment and treatment. Contact us today, and we can discover the underlying cause of your daytime sleepiness and initiate the best course of treatment.