Even when you get enough sleep each night, you can still suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS, which can really cause you to feel lousy during the day and even cause you to miss out on some of your favorite activities. According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 20% of the adult population suffers from EDS, but to decide what to do about the problem, you have to first discover the true causes. Although there is no official definition for EDS, some of the symptoms include the following:
● Easy irritability
● Need for more naps
● Constant dozing off
● Loss of appetite
● Poor performance at school or work
What Causes EDS?
There are numerous reasons why you may be extra-sleepy during the day. Some of these reasons could be temporary problems, such as you are getting used to doing shift work or you are having problems sleeping at night due to a temporary stressful situation. If you find yourself sleepy during the day on a regular basis, however, it could be a very different cause.
One of these causes is narcolepsy, which is a serious condition that causes people to fall asleep while performing everyday tasks. It is a potentially dangerous problem because falling asleep while you’re driving or even cooking can cause accidents that could be fatal.
Another cause is sleep apnea, which involves waking up numerous times an hour as you sleep without knowing it, causing you to get a less-than-restful sleep each night. For both narcolepsy and sleep apnea, a visit to the doctor is the only way to know for sure that you have the condition. Sleep apnea is often handled by sleeping with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which usually takes care of the problem.
Indeed, when it comes to excessive sleepiness and solutions, visiting your doctor is the first thing you should do. Only then will you know exactly what the problem is and what your solutions are.
Other Causes for Excessive Sleepiness
There are other causes of excessive sleepiness that aren’t as serious as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. These include restless leg syndrome, depression, insomnia, disorders related to your circadian rhythm, and certain medical conditions, which can include conditions such as cancer, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and others.
Doctors know how to treat each of these conditions and help you get back to feeling better during the day, but each treatment may be a little different than the next.
Many doctors treat the underlying causes of the problem to remedy the situation. For instance, if you are having trouble sleeping because you are depressed, you may be sent to a psychologist or be put on antidepressants to help you feel better and therefore get more sleep.
For most EDS cases, the fact that you can’t sleep at night needs to be treated first because this may be the only reason you are experiencing a lot of sleepiness during the day. In any case, if this is a problem you’re dealing with, a trip to your doctor’s office is the first thing you need to do to take care of it.