If you consistently get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly and still feel sleepy during the day, an underlying sleep disorder could be to blame. These include the three possibilities discussed below.
Narcolepsy means that you don’t have enough of the brain chemical hypocretin to keep you alert during the daytime and regulate your sleep cycle at night. It can cause you to fall asleep during the day and even experience hallucinations. Prescription medication can help to increase hypocretin levels and improve symptoms.
Sleep apnea occurs when you experience several short interruptions to your breathing during sleep. This can leave you gasping for air and struggling with daytime tiredness. Untreated sleep apnea can also increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health complications.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
This is typically a diagnosis of exclusion when your sleep doctor cannot find another reason for your issue such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, mental disorders or a side effect of a medication. He or she will work with you to determine techniques that can help improve your sleep quality.
Do You Have Excessive Sleepiness?
Hypersomnia, a term used to describe excessive daytime sleepiness, is a problem severe enough to affect your ability to function normally. Even though you get plenty of sleep at night, you may find yourself forgetting important work deadlines, neglecting household chores or struggling to get along with others because you feel so fatigued. You could even sleep more than 10 hours at night only to feel fatigued most of the day unless you take naps.
Symptoms and Potential Treatment for Hypersomnia
If you think you could have excessive daytime sleepiness, schedule an appointment with your regular doctor. He or she will review your symptoms and may refer you to a sleep disorder specialist for further evaluation. The specialist may diagnose you with hypersomnia if you have some or all of these conditions:
· You have had symptoms for at least six months
· You have not experienced head trauma in the last 18 months
· You do not have a psychological or physical diagnosis that can explain your sleepiness
· You scored normal results on a polysomnography test
· You have taken a Multiple Sleep Latency Test that lasted at least 10 minutes
Stimulant medications are the most common treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness. You can also help yourself feel better by taking naps when needed, avoiding medication or alcohol that can cause drowsiness and maintaining a regular schedule for sleep.
Visit PrimeCare Urgent Care for Sleep-Related Illnesses
Sometimes you need immediate care for symptoms before you get the chance to see your doctor or a sleep specialist. PrimeCare is available for walk-in appointments seven days a week between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. You can also schedule an online appointment. We are happy to assist you on your path towards better health.