Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)

EDS is a common term used to describe a symptom of many sleep disorders, such as: Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)

EDS is an overwhelming need to sleep during the day when the person has had an apparent normal sleep during the night. EDS may last for minutes or even an hour or more and occurs with no warning. EDS may occur many times during the day, so causing great disruption in the quality of life of the sufferer.

Sleep Specialists may use a variety of tests to evaluate whether it is in fact true EDS, or "tiredness" or "sleepiness" from some other cause, such as sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can occur in insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders (refer to individual headings), or from not allowing enough time during the night for ample sleep required for normal daytime function and alertness.

Some of the tests that can be used are:

  1. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale
  2. The Stanford Sleepiness Scale
  3. The Karolinska Scale
  4. The Ullinina Scale

Sleep Studies done in a hospital sleep laboratory unit are also used in conjunction with the previous tests. The sleep study may include a multiple sleep latency test when narcolepsy is suspected.

If a person suffers from EDS it is very important to get help and find out the cause of the problem and to get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

A person suffering from EDS who is not diagnosed is a danger to themselves in the home, workplace, and on the road. In fact it is a proven point that accidents have only two more common causes: Alcohol and illicit drugs.

So, if you suspect that you have EDS, please do not put off finding out the cause and obtaining the appropriate treatment.

The life you are saving may be your own.

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