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Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Causes and Treatment

According to a survey conducted by International Medical University, daytime sleepiness, or EDS, occurred in 35.5% of medical students in Malaysia.

EDS also referred to as hypersomnia or somnolence, is a serious symptom that may indicate underlying health conditions and other medical issues. This disorder often has an immense impact on daily functioning and may result in accidents, injuries, and loss of productivity.

Common Causes of Excess Daytime Sleepiness

Excessive daytime sleepiness can be caused by a variety of things. Poor sleeping habits, such as snoring partners or an irregular schedule; lack of shut-eye at night; or sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, shift work, or insomnia; medications (such as prescription, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and caffeine), and certain medical conditions like depression or anxiety.

Medications and Over-the-Counter Drugs That Cause EDS

The primary cause of excessive daytime sleepiness is taking drugs that make you drowsy or sleepy. Examples include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, other sedatives, medications to treat high blood pressure or depression, as well as prescription painkillers.

Other potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness may include medical conditions like obesity or a history of substance abuse. These can be treated through behavioral therapy, such as restricting alcohol and caffeine consumption or altering your sleep schedule.

In addition to sleep disorders, other potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness could include poor nutrition or exercise habits. These can negatively impact your energy level, mental focus, and concentration levels.

How To Combat Excess Daytime Sleepiness

If you are struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness, you can change your diet and exercise habits.

Eating healthily can help combat sleepiness, as it increases the amount of nutrients in your body and encourages you to feel rested throughout the day.

Exercising regularly also has a beneficial effect, providing you with more energy and less fatigue throughout the day.

Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and avoid caffeine or other stimulants which could keep you up all night. For added energy, take a power nap during lunch break for some much-needed rejuvenation.

Other methods to combat excessive daytime sleepiness include drinking more water, eating a nutritious breakfast, and not taking medications that cause drowsiness.

Identifying and Treating the Cause of EDS

Diagnosing excessive daytime sleepiness requires speaking with a medical professional about your symptoms. In some cases, doctors will conduct tests to identify the source of excessive daytime sleepiness. These may include a maintenance of wakefulness test, physical examination and blood or urine testing to look for other health conditions.They can then suggest an effective treatment plan that will enable you to sleep better at night and remain alert during the day

Excessive daytime sleepiness could be a symptom of another health issue such as sleep apnea which can be diagnosed through either a sleep study and treated with CPAP therapy. If you suspect you might have excessive daytime sleepiness, you could speak with a sleep specialist or The Air Station about your symptoms and treatment options.


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