If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning or feel sleepy while you are watching T.V. or driving, you may be suffering from excessive sleepiness. Excessive sleepiness is a condition that greatly reduces your quality of life, interferes with your relationships and decreases your productivity.
Everybody feels tired occasionally, this is normal. When daytime sleepiness is persistent and interferes with your day to day functioning, this is not considered normal. Excessive sleepiness is a condition that makes you unsafe to drive and sometimes, even work. It’s comparable to being under the influence of alcohol due to the level of alertness. Excessive sleepiness can cause accidents while driving or operating heavy equipment because of the inability to pay attention to details.
There are many things that cause excessive sleepiness such as jet lag, working night shift, working rotating shifts. These things disrupt the body’s natural sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation is probably the most common cause of excessive sleepiness. Symptoms of excessive sleepiness can happen to anyone who has been deprived of sleep. People who suffer from excessive sleepiness often look like they are intoxicated due to the lack of rest.
Symptoms of sleep deprivation can occur after only one night of sleep loss. People who are deprived of sleep on a regular basis are not always aware of their own level of fatigue and decreased alertness.
Excessive daytime sleepiness can also be caused by sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea. It can also be caused by medical conditions like heart rhythm disorders, restless leg syndrome, depression, substance abuse and obesity .
Excessive sleepiness is especially common in the elderly especially if they are taking mildly sedating drugs for other conditions and it can significantly impair their alertness and function.
Usually, if you sleep for excessively long periods or take frequent naps during the day and still feel tired or sleepy, you are considered to have excessive sleepiness. People who have excessive sleepiness feel like they need to take several naps a day and can even fall asleep while waiting at a stop light in the car, while driving or at work. It can become so bad that it can cause a person to be unable to complete certain tasks that they used to be able to finish without any difficulty at all.
Symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness include fatigue, feeling like you are unable to keep your eyes open, impaired memory and difficulty concentrating.
A physician can prescribe medications to improve a person’s alertness and help prevent serious accident or injury. Physicians have a scale that they use to determine the degree of sleepiness that you suffer from. The physician will evaluate you for treatable causes and may even interview your bed partner regarding your sleep behaviors, patterns and snoring.