Falling asleep at inappropriate times, such as while eating, talking,
or driving, is a sign of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Excessive daytime sleepiness can have serious consequences, such
The most common cause of daytime sleepiness is not allowing enough
time for a full night's sleep (chronic sleep deprivation)—the demands of our
schedules dictate that we wake up to an alarm, not when we are fully rested,
and we often stay up long after our body tells us it needs to sleep. Shift
workers and teens have a particularly high risk of chronic sleep
How much sleep a person needs varies with age and from person to
person. The number of hours you sleep is not as important as how you feel when
you wake up. If you do not feel refreshed, you probably need more sleep.
Feeling tired during the daytime is another sign you are not getting enough
sleep. Many times, simple home treatment can help you get the sleep you
Excessive daytime sleepiness may indicate you have a
sleep disorder, such as
sleep apnea or
If you have tried home treatment and still have excessive daytime
sleepiness, call your doctor to evaluate your symptoms.
November 27, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
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