If you’re looking for assistance with excessive daytime sleepiness, then Manse Medical is certainly the right place to look. Our team of medical specialists understand that excessive daytime sleepiness can become quite debilitating if left untreated and we are committed to bettering your health.
What is excessive daytime sleepiness?
Excessive daytime sleepiness is, as the name suggests, difficulty, even inability, staying awake and alert when you are required to, with involuntary lapses into drowsiness or sleep.
What are its characteristics?
Excessive daytime sleepiness is characterised by the desire or necessity to sleep.The severity and impact this can have on you vary from one person to another. This is because excessive daytime sleepiness is affected by different factors that everybody experiences differently.
What are its symptoms?
Symptoms associated with excessive daytime sleepiness include;
- Feeling unusually tired all the time
- Having the desire or need to nap during the day
- Feeling drowsy, despite having adequate sleep
- Having difficulty thinking and making decisions
- Memory or concentration difficulties
- An increased risk of accidents, especially motor vehicle accidents
What are the causes commonly associated with excessive daytime sleepiness?
As said previously, there are a wide range of causes for excessive daytime sleepiness, all of which are experienced differently by people. Any of the factors below can contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness.
The most common reason for sleepiness is that you’re just not getting enough sleep. This could be due to working long hours and shift work, or a frantic lifestyle, or even simply losing track of time. Ultimately, this lack of sleep accumulates, and results in excessive daytime sleepiness.
Anything that interferes with your sleep can result in excessive daytime sleepiness. These include factors in your surroundings such as;
- A snoring partner
- A crying baby
- Noisy neighbours
- Sleeping on an uncomfortable surface, etc.
Continuing from what we said earlier about insufficient sleep, repeating the behaviours that lead to insufficient sleep reinforces them into habits that require alot of effort to break. If your regular activity means that you are missing sleep regularly, then it will contribute heavily to excessive daytime sleepiness.
Mental health conditions
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness. For example, anxiety makes it difficult to sleep at night, while depression saps a person’s energy during the day.
Various drugs and medications have the capacity to disrupt sleeping patterns, such as;
- Sleeping pills
This is because they are stimulants and depressants that affect the rate at which messages are sent through the body. Like with mental health conditions, they can sap energy during the day or make it impossible to sleep during the night.
Medical conditions can also make it difficult to sleep during the night, such as;
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
- Oesophageal reflux
- Nocturnal asthma
- Chronic pain
- Anaemia (iron deficiency)
Sometimes, easing and managing these conditions can help with excessive sleepiness. Unfortunately, many medications can also have the side effect of causing excessive daytime sleepiness.
Jet lag & daylight savings
When you switch time zones, the sudden change will affect your internal biological clock, which regulates your sleep. However, once your sleep routine is reinforced, the effects of jetlag go away on their own.
These conditions cause sleep disruption, or even fragmented sleep. While they might not be the singular root cause of excessive daytime sleepiness, they certainly contribute to it and should therefore be addressed.
This condition results from stopped or reduced breathing while asleep. The brain registers this breathing stoppage and wakes the person up. As a result, the person’s sleep is fragmented, which contributes to excessive daytime sleepiness.
This is a very common condition in which someone has difficulty getting to sleep and/or maintaining sleep. It is a common misconception that Insomnia is a disease, as it is actually just a symptom.
Restless legs syndrome
This condition involves sensations of cramps or irritation that are felt under the skin in the legs, particularly the calves. The person feels compelled to move their legs or get out of bed and walk around, which regularly interrupts their sleep.
Sometimes, disrupted sleep, due to any of the above problems, can disrupt the sleep of a bed partner and lead to daytime sleepiness in that individual.
This is a relatively rare sleep disorder characterised by an overwhelming and unrelenting sleepiness, often to the degree of involuntary or the need to nap, sleep paralysis, vivid, dream-like hallucinations just prior to falling asleep (a.k.a. hypnagogic hallucinations), and muscle weakness during periods of strong emotion (a.k.a. cataplexy).
This sleep disorder is characterised by excessive night-time sleeping as well as the need for naps during the day. Unlike narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia is a condition that does not include cataplexy or sleep paralysis.
How do you diagnose excessive daytime sleepiness?
The only way to formally diagnose excessive daytime sleepiness is to attend a sleep clinic. At Manse Medical, we have a range of sleep tests available that we can use to monitor your sleeping habits and diagnose any sleep disorders.
Contact us so we can help you if you’re struggling with the symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness.
What treatment options are available at Manse Medical for excessive daytime sleepiness?
At Manse Medical, we offer different treatment options that can help treat sleep disorders that contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness. Our treatments include the following;
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
If your excessive daytime sleepiness is caused by obstructive sleep apnoea, this treatment can help by keeping your airway open with air at positive pressure, letting you sleep without any interruptions.
Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS)
This is an alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. This is a mouthguard-like-device that you wear while sleeping that makes it easier to breathe, thus minimising the possibility that you will be woken up in the middle of the night due to shortness of breath.
If, after thorough assessment. a diagnosis of narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia is confirmed then it may be necessary to consider using medications that help suppress sleepiness so that you can stay awake better during the daytime.
What lifestyle adjustments can I make to improve my sleep hygiene in order to avoid excessive daytime sleepiness?
In order to improve your sleeping habits and lower the possibility of excessive daytime sleepiness, you can take the following actions;
- Avoiding drugs such as nicotine, alcohol and caffeine (especially at night)
- Partaking in a relaxation routine before bed (i.e. meditation)
- Regular exercise
- Eating a well balanced diet
- Creating an ideal sleeping environment that minimises background distractions such as light and noise, as well as ensuring you’re sleeping on a comfortable surface
- A regular sleeping routine (otherwise known as good sleep hygiene).
- Only going to bed at the right time (e.g. no day naps)
How do I contact Manse Medical for Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Treatment?
Manse Medical is a sleep clinic with multiple locations. We aim to provide the highest level of care for patients with respiratory and sleep disorders.
Book your appointment online by selecting your preferred clinic and choose from the list of our available specialists.