The Truth about Daytime Drowsiness

Fotolia_118347772_XS.jpgFeeling sleepy during the day is incredibly common, and can have a long list of causes, like long nights with kids, staying up too late to catch the end of a game, or an all-nighter for work or school, and much more. If nodding off during the day is becoming an every day struggle, problems can occur and the consequences are far more dangerous than decreased productivity at work. Causes for regular daytime drowsiness can include snoring, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders, which can result in medical illnesses including hypertension, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, diabetes, weight gain, and more.

If daytime sleepiness is an issue for you or your bed partner, you need to be checked out. How do you know if this is an issue for you or your partner? The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a good place to start. Developed by Dr. Murray Johns of Melbourne, this questionnaire measures daytime sleepiness.

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations, in contrast to feeling just tired? This refers to your usual way of life in recent times. Even if you have not done some of these things recently try to work out how they would have affected you. Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = no chance of dozing
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

Sitting and reading ____________
Watching TV ____________
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g a theater or a meeting) ____________
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break ____________
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit ____________
Sitting and talking to someone ____________
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol ____________
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic ____________


Less than 10:   
You are most likely getting enough sleep. However, if you have noticed a change in your normal sleep routine, you may want to discuss this with your doctor.

10 – 16 
Your may be suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness. You should see you Doctor to determine the cause of your sleepiness and possible treatment.

You are dangerously sleepy! You need to see a doctor about your daytime sleepiness as soon as possible!

If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep or your partner's sleep, contact Ashford Clinic at 706-248-6860 or Request an Appointment today!