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Excessive Sleepiness Disorder

Getting enough relaxing sleep is essential to good health. It allows the body to restore used energy and to carry out vital bodily functions. However, a person can suffer from excessive sleepiness without getting enough sleep.

According to sleep scientist from Stanford Dr. Maurice Ohayan, excessive sleepiness disorder is common in the U.S. than in other countries and prevalent in women compared to men. The prevalence is higher between ages 20 and 49 years.

These finding raises concern regarding the potential for injuries, car accidents and public safety. Excessive sleepiness also compromises ones’ health and the quality of life.

What’s Causing Excessive Sleepiness Disorder?

There are various causes of excessive sleepiness. Oftentimes, an underlying sleeping disorder is responsible.

  1. Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common cause of sleepiness in children and adults. When the upper airway collapses the air is blocked for at least 10 seconds. It happens during sleep.

The interrupted breathing disrupts the sleep. The disruption can lead to sleepiness at work, home, and school and even while driving. People suffering from sleep apnea are prone to vehicular accidents.

  1. Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that causes disabling daytime sleepiness. Most cases of narcolepsy occurs when a certain area in the brain dysfunction. The dysfunction promotes wakefulness and brief moment of sleep attack that cannot be controlled. The sleep attack comes without warning.

  1. Hypersomnia

Refers to excessive time spent in sleeping or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). A person with hypersomnia has trouble staying awake during the day and can fall asleep anytime. Other sleep related problems are excessive tiredness even with enough sleep, has trouble thinking clearly and lack of sleep. Without proper treatment, hypersomnia can affect one’s ability to drive, work and stay healthy.

Risk Factors

Sleep problems can affect both men and women, from children to elderly. Some can enjoy the occasional bouts of tossing and turning other runs a higher risk of developing an excessive sleeping disorder. Below are conditions that makes a person susceptible to sleeping disorders.

     Sleep Apnea

  • Are heavy drinkers
  • Heavy and smokers
  • Has small airways in the nose, mouth and throat
  • Post-menopausal female
  • Have had a mild injury in brain


  • Have disorders in the thyroid
  • Have disorders in autoimmune system
  • Have family members with narcolepsy
  • Suffering from diabetes


  • People who drink and smoke often
  • Depression
  • Low thyroid functions

Treatment for Excessive Sleepiness Disorder

Treatment for excessive sleeping disorder varies.  The most common is through medical treatment. The treatment will help improve the patient’s quality of life. A person with sleeping disorder can take Armodafinil or Modafinil. It is a stimulant medication that can promote wakefulness. Armodafinil can treat excessive sleepiness disorder caused by narcolepsy, hypersomnia and sleep apnea.