If excessive daytime sleepiness is impacting your life, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that excessive daytime sleepiness affects up to 40% of the population, and it can be caused by many different factors- from a lack of physical activity to a nutrient deficiency. Fortunately, there are multiple treatments available for excessive daytime sleepiness. Read on below for more information about what causes excessive daytime sleepiness and how to treat it!
Causes of excessive daytime sleepiness:
-A lack of physical activity: excessive daytime sleepiness can be caused by a lack of proper exercise. Exercise stimulates your body and brain, which are necessary for staying awake during the day! Make sure you’re working out at least 30 minutes each day to keep excessive daytime sleepiness from getting in the way of your life.
-Nutrient deficiency: If you’re lacking an important nutrient that helps regulate levels of serotonin (a chemical in the brain that makes us feel sleepy), it might cause excessive daytime sleepiness as well. Make sure to include vitamin B12, magnesium or zinc into your diet if this is happening! When it comes to choosing supplements, consult with a doctor first before making any decisions on what type will work best for you.
-Mental health condition: excessive daytime sleepiness can also be caused by certain mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders. If excessive daytime sleepiness is lingering for weeks despite lifestyle changes and even medical intervention, consult with a doctor to see if this could be the case!
-Irregular sleeping schedule: One of the most common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness is an irregular bedtime routine. When we don’t have strict guidelines on when it’s time to go to bed, our circadian rhythms may get out of whack which will make us feel sleepy during the day at random times! Try sticking to a set bedtime every night from now on (even weekends) so that your body knows what time to expect you to be sleeping.
-Shift work: If excessive daytime sleepiness is caused by a shift in your normal schedule, there are ways to mitigate the effects! Try using artificial light and lots of caffeine during times when it’s not time for bed (such as lunch breaks). This will help regulate body temperature so that we’re more alert while awake. Talk with your employer about whether they offer programs or treatments that can help too – some even give out free sunglasses if you provide proof from an eye doctor!
-Exercise: As mentioned earlier, exercise helps keep excessive daytime sleepiness at bay because it stimulates both the body and brain. Make sure to include 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise into your daily routine!
-Napping: Skipping one or two naps is a good way to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness. Try and limit those midday slumbers to 20 minutes so that we’re not too tired when it’s time for bed at night.
-Artificial light: Artificial lights can help regulate body temperature, which will make us feel more alert during the day. Make sure you have proper lighting in your workspace (and anywhere else you spend a lot of time) as this is important for regulating our circadian rhythms!
-Caffeine: An extra dose of caffeine may be needed if excessive daytime sleepiness has been caused by shift work! Talk with an employer about what they offer or try drinking a caffeinated beverage during your lunch break.
-Talk therapy: Talk with a professional to learn more about excessive daytime sleepiness and how it can be treated! This will help us better understand what’s going on so we know the best course of action for ourselves. We may also want to try talk therapy, which is one of the most common treatments available as well!
-Medication: If excessive daytime sleepiness has been caused by mental health conditions or an irregular sleeping schedule, medication might be necessary too. Medications such as Provigil have proven effective in managing excessive daytime sleepiness symptoms because they act directly on neurotransmitters (molecules that send signals between neurons) involved in staying awake.
-Programs offered from employers: If excessive daytime sleepiness is caused by shift work, we may want to talk with an employer about what programs or treatments they offer. Some companies provide free resources such as sunglasses for example!
-Dietary changes: excessive daytime sleepiness might not be a result of any other symptoms and could just be the result of inadequate diet. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin B12, magnesium or zinc will help us stay awake during the day so make sure these go into your diet if you’re experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness!
Conclusion – Combating Excessive Daytime Sleepiness:
We hope you found this blog post informational and helpful. If your excessive daytime sleepiness has been negatively impacting your life, we encourage you to try one of the solutions mentioned in our article for a better quality of life!
Tips for better sleep from the Mayo clinic: