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Excessive daytime sleepiness: 4 most common causes

Do you feel sleepy during the day even after sleeping for 8-9 hours the night before? Do you get the feeling that you're just not able to get complete rest no matter how well you think you've slept? You could be suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness.

Excessive daytime sleepiness refers to a condition where there is chronic sleepiness in the daytime even after adequate or excess sleep the night before. This is not just a usual case of feeling sleepy during the daytime. Excessive daytime sleepiness is marked by an absolute lack of energy during the daytime and this can hamper your day-to-day activities. It could also lead to diseases like stroke, Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's. Consultation with an expert and timely treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness is strongly advised. Here are some common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness:

  1. High-fat diet: A study by Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress (MAILES) study says that men who consume diets high in fat, are more likely to feel sleepy during the day, report sleep problems at night and are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. The study also noted that poor sleep and feeling sleepy during the day was linked to lack of energy and an increase in cravings for high- fat, high-carbohydrate foods which are again linked to poor sleep. So the poor diet-and-sleep pattern can become a vicious cycle.

2) Sleep disorders like narcolepsy, a rare and chronic neurological disorder is caused by the inability to maintain normal sleep-wake cycles and causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Hypersomnia is characterized by recurring episodes of excessive sleepiness that can last for several days or even weeks.

3) Marijuana: A study shows that the use of marijuana is linked to excessive daytime sleepiness among adolescents. The researchers found that 10 percent of adolescents sent for evaluation of excessive daytime sleepiness with testing results consistent with narcolepsy had urine drug screens positive for marijuana.

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4) Cognitive decline, that leads to diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia may be a cause of excessive daytime sleepiness in the elderly. A research by Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medical (Inserm) said that sleeping more than nine hours a night, or less than five, was linked to lower mental ability.

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