Lots of people complain about feeling sleepy during the day. But excessive daytime sleepiness may be a warning sign that something more is going on with your health.
Here at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep in St. Petersburg, Florida, Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, and Himanshu Chandarana, MD, specialize in diagnostic testing and treatment services for excessive daytime sleepiness.
We also offer solutions to address the underlying cause of daytime sleepiness, so you can feel better and be more productive.
Understanding excessive daytime sleepiness
Excessive daytime sleepiness is different from fatigue. This condition describes difficulties staying alert and awake throughout the day for three months or longer.
The primary difference between occasional fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness lies in your ability to fall asleep. With fatigue, you may be tired but struggle to fall asleep. Those with excessive sleepiness can fall (and stay) asleep with ease but still don’t feel alert during the day.
Because good quality sleep is essential to your physical and mental health, excessive sleepiness can lead to memory problems, irritability, and an increased risk of injuries and accidents because of a lack of alertness.
Untreated daytime sleepiness also can lead to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Causes of excessive daytime sleepiness
There are several reasons why you may experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Our team at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep provides diagnostic testing services on-site to determine what’s causing your daytime sleepiness.
During an evaluation, we check for causes like:
1. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that describes interruptions in your breathing during the night. People with sleep apnea can stop breathing periodically in their sleep and wake up gasping for air.
Our team can identify and treat the three types of sleep apnea — obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects how your brain controls cycles of wakefulness and sleep. This condition can cause you to feel excessive sleepiness during the day or periods where you fall asleep, even when you’re engaged in work or other activities.
3. Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation results from not getting enough sleep each night. You may experience sleep deprivation due to underlying sleep disorders like narcolepsy or insomnia.
You might also be prone to sleep deprivation because of poor bedtime habits such as frequently staying up too late or using electronics just before going to sleep.
4. Medical or psychiatric issues
A range of medical and psychiatric issues can impact the quality and quantity of your sleep. Medical conditions that can affect your long-term sleep include dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injuries.
You might also experience daytime sleepiness if you have psychiatric issues like an anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression.
We can also identify any sedative medications you take for existing health issues that may contribute to your daytime sleepiness. Our personalized treatment plans focus on improving your sleep quality and overall health.
If you’re experiencing daytime sleepiness for three months or longer and it’s affecting your quality of life, call Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep today.