Excessive daytime sleepiness
Posted in Sleep disorders

Excessive daytime sleepiness

As the name suggests, excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS, is a condition where a person is sleepy during their normal wake time. It is important to note that shift workers are normally sleepy during the day time if they work nights but that is considered normal. However, if the same shift worker is sleepy during their normal work time, then it is considered excessive daytime sleepiness.

What causes excessive daytime sleepiness?

Excessive daytime sleepiness means a person has recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep.

What is the difference between being tired due to lack of sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness?

Different from feeling tired due to lack of or interrupted sleep at night, persons with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work, during a meal, or in conversation. These daytime naps usually provide no or little relief from symptoms. Patients often have difficulty waking from a long sleep, and may feel disoriented.



What are symptoms of EDS?

In addition to being sleepy, other symptoms may include anxiety, increased irritation, decreased energy, restlessness, slow thinking, slow speech, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and memory difficulty. Some patients lose the ability to function in family, social, occupational, or other settings.

What is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is synonymous with excessive daytime sleepiness.

What causes hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia may be caused by another sleep disorder (such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea), dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, or drug or alcohol abuse. In some cases it results from a physical problem, such as a tumor, head trauma, or injury to the central nervous system. Certain medications, or medicine withdrawal, may also cause hypersomnia. Medical conditions including multiple sclerosis, depression, encephalitis, epilepsy, or obesity may contribute to the disorder. Some people appear to have a genetic predisposition to hypersomnia; in others, there is no known cause. Typically, hypersomnia is first recognized in adolescence or young adulthood.

How to diagnose excessive daytime sleepiness?

An evaluation by a sleep medicine physician followed by sleep studies is the best way to diagnose hypersomnia.

How do you treat excessive daytime sleepiness?

Treatment is symptomatic in nature. Stimulants, such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, and modafinil, may be prescribed. Other drugs used to treat hypersomnia include clonidine, levodopa, bromocriptine, antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Changes in behavior such as going to bed at the same time, avoiding stimulants such as coffee or beverages with stimulants several hours before sleep and diet may offer some relief. Patients should avoid alcohol and caffeine.

W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa

W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa

What is a sleep attack?

Sleep attack, as the name suggests, is an intense and almost sudden urge to fall asleep or take a nap at a time the person is normally supposed to be awake.

Can obstructive sleep apnea cause excessive daytime sleepiness?

Yes. It is important to note that some of the most sleepy patients can be those that have obstructive sleep apnea.

If I am sleepy during the day, does it mean I have Narcolepsy?

While Narcolepsy is one of the causes of hypersomnia, there are many other causes for hypersomnia such as obstructive sleep apnea, jet leg, shift work sleep disorder, delayed and advanced sleep phase syndrome, non-24 hour sleep wake cycle, Kein – Levin syndrome etc. that you should get proper evaluation with a sleep physician.

How can I get tested to see if I suffer from EDS?

Contact the closest W8MD weight loss, sleep and medspa center closest to you for further evaluation.

What is the prognosis for hypersomnia?

The prognosis for persons with hypersomnia depends on the cause of the disorder. While the disorder itself is not life threatening, it can have serious consequences, such as automobile accidents caused by falling asleep while driving. The attacks usually continue indefinitely.

How can W8MD help?

Sleep Medicine Program uses state of the art technology including the convenient home sleep studies or in lab sleep diagnostic studies to diagnose and treat over 80 different sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, insomnia to name a few. Learn More…

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Prab R. Tumpati, MD. Dr. Tumpati is the founder and medical director of W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep and MedSpa Centers. Dr Tumpati is board certified physician practicing sleep medicine, obesity medicine, aesthetic medicine and internal medicine. Dr. Tumpati’s passion is to educate patients and get to the root of the problem rather than "band aid medicine". As a physician with fellowship training in Obesity Medicine, Dr. Tumpati has a unique approach to wellness, weight loss, and medical aesthetics with a focus on prevention rather than cure. Dr. Tumpati takes pride in helping patients come of many chronic life style medications such as blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes medications by helping them lose weight and change their life style. Dr Tumpati believes in evidence based medicine rather than fad diets that do not work and works with each patient taking their unique situation in to consideration that causes them to gain weight so he can find a customized solution. Serving as the medical director of the W8MD's New York City, Cherry Hill NJ and greater Philadelphia offices, Dr Tumpati is the leading weight loss, sleep and aesthetic medicine physician in the tristate areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.


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