It’s safe to say that most adults find themselves yawning or losing focus during the day. External factors like stress, lack of sleep, or caffeine intake are typically to blame – that being said, if you find yourself exceptionally tired during the day despite having slept a full night, you could have an underlying health issue.
If this sounds like you, be sure to check out some of these potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Over 100 million people worldwide live with sleep apnea, and many may not even know it. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. Because your body is constantly having to restart your breathing, it isn’t getting the rest it needs while you sleep, making you feel tired during the day. If you snore loudly, or make choking or gasping sounds while you sleep, you may have sleep apnea.
Idiopathic hypersomnia is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness which is not related to outside factors like lack of sleep, jetlag, stress, or drug and alcohol use. Idiopathic hypersomnia is difficult to diagnose, and can be debilitating.
Like idiopathic hypersomnia, narcolepsy is a debilitating sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming fatigue and uncontrollable “attacks” of sleep. People with narcolepsy find it extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of circumstance. Some people with narcolepsy also experience sleep paralysis, hallucinations, or cataplexy – loss of muscle control.
If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness that cannot be attributed to external factors, consult with your doctor.
If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea or idiopathic hypersomnia, you may benefit from clinical research. Preferred Research Partners in Little Rock, AR is now seeking patient volunteers for sleep disorder clinical research trials. Enter your information below to learn more.