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Excessive Sleepiness: What can be done?

About

Excessive sleepiness refers to the feeling of drowsiness all the time and struggle to stay awake during the day.

Although most of us feel tired and drowsy, 20% of us get affected by excessive sleepiness.(1)

Excessive sleepiness can affect both men and women of any age. It may be caused by various underlying factors that need to be investigated further in case the excessive sleepiness does not subside.

Causes

The most common cause of excessive sleepiness is not getting enough and proper sleep. Other underlying causes are as follows:
- Alcohol
- Smoking
- Certain drugs and medications
- Sleep disorders (Restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea)
- Obesity
- Lack of physical exercise and activities

Individuals suffering from excessive sleepiness sleep a lot during the day and still do not feel refreshed making this a serious condition as it hinders in daily activities.

Symptoms

Excessive sleepiness is more of a symptom itself than a medical condition.
Common symptoms include
- Drowsiness
- Headache
- Snoring
- Irritability
- Breathing problem during sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Concentration problems
The diagnosis for excessive sleepiness is done by reviewing medical history and certain tests such as multiple sleep latency test, polysomnogram, and Epworth sleepiness scale.

Treatment

Self-care:
- Implement a fixed and consistent sleep schedule
- Avoid smoking and intake of alcohol.
- Creating an ideal sleeping environment at night with no or dim lights and no usage of electronics.
- Losing weight in case of obesity

Medications:
Restless leg syndrome: Anti-seizure drugs, opiates, and benzodiazepines.
Sleep Apnea: CPAP, stimulants, and therapy
Narcolepsy: Antidepressants and stimulants
Depression: CBT and mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants

Specialists: At mfine, we lead in catering to the healthcare needs of our patients. Contact us today to get an insight into the various treatment programs available with us.

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