Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
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What is it?
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is the feeling of tiredness
during daytime hours. Individuals affected by EDS may doze off with
little or no warning in various situations: in conversation, reading
or watching television, or even more seriously, while driving.
experience EDS suffer from short-term effects, such as losing
concentration during important activities. Long-term consequences
such as poor self-esteem from inability to predict when sleepiness
will interfere in social situations, and poor job performance, can
What are the causes?
There are three principal causes of EDS: not getting enough hours of
sleep, poor quality sleep, or a neurologic disorder. Insufficient
time for sleep is the commonest sleep problem in our society. The
average adult needs seven or eight continuous hours of sleep per
day; teenagers need eight or nine on average. Poor quality sleep
occurs in a variety of ways. Examples are when a person doesn’t get
proper breathing during sleep (sleep apnea) and frequent movements
interfering with sleep (restless legs).
Neurologic disorders causing EDS include narcolepsy, stroke, and
What are the signs and symptoms?
The main sign that an individual has EDS is an inability to stay
awake or lapses in attention (which are actually micro-sleeps) in
situations when the person wants to stay awake. People with
excessive daytime sleepiness also show a lack of energy during
periods of alertness.
is it diagnosed?
EDS can be diagnosed after a routine physical examination and
discussion with a physician. Tests can be administered to analyze
whether a low blood count or abnormal thyroid hormone levels could
be causing the EDS. Tests conducted at Sleepcare Diagnostics can
determine whether EDS is caused by an underlying sleep disorder.
is it treated?
Metabolic causes of EDS such as anemia or hypothyroidism can be
treated with medication. If the EDS is caused by an underlying sleep
disorder, it will be identified and treated at Sleepcare
Diagnostics; follow-up at the center will be arranged to make
certain the EDS problem has been eliminated or significantly