Defining Excessive Daytime Sleep

Normally, people sleep during evenings, just when their bodies are tired, their minds are exhausted and their work or schooling are over. On the other hand, some people, because of their work shifts or habits, tend to sleep during the day. The latter practices, by themselves already causing considerable changes on human bodies, are still distinct from what doctors call excessive daytime sleep. Medical experts say this condition appears as a symptom of various diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, epilepsy and peripheral neuropathy.

As a medical condition, excessive daytime sleep (EDS) is manifested by continued drowsiness by a person and his proneness to fall asleep in inappropriate circumstances and situations, as pointed out by Cephalon. At a clinical level, mentioned in 2008 by Factor and Steiner, the condition is manifested by excessive sleep in the day by patients; in the evening, they stay awake.

From a far more technical perspective, this condition is considered to be one of the most common neurological conditions being encountered by specialists, according to Guilleminault and Brooks (2001). As these two authors add, the condition drastically affects ones ability to concentrate with school or office work, hampers one from memorizing data and even can lead to problems among persons in handling ones mood. In a more recent study by Pagel in 2009, it is shown that two out of every ten Americans have this condition. Pagel also adds that EDS is most common among teenagers, shift workers, and older people. Excessive daytime sleep can be hazardous, especially for those who drive for a living; as a 2000 study quoted by Guilleminault and Brools shows, two out of ten drivers asked had slept at least twice while driving. The authors also add that In 2000, it had been reported that 50,000 motor accidents had occurred due to drivers dozing off while on the wheel.

But what causes this condition?

Pagel says that EDS is caused by narcolepsy, sleep-related breathing disorders, use of drugs, depression and even stroke. Meanwhile, Cephalon points out that EDS is caused by sleep wake dysregulation, circadian misalignment, Parkinsons, or multiple sclerosis. These conditions, Cephalon points out, triggers changes in the body clock or the bodily process in general.

Therefore, how do people treat excessive daytime sleep? For one they can take in Modafinil (Provigil), Pagel says. Drs. Valentino and Schaefer say this drug has been proven effective for EDS and related disorders.

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