Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
This condition is characterized by a lack of energy and persistent sleepiness, even after an adequate night’s sleep. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) can lead to many difficulties such as falling asleep behind the wheel, at work, or in other situations that can be hazardous to the patient or to others.
Common causes of EDS include sleep apnea, depression, circadian rhythm disorders and other central nervous system difficulties. Testing often includes an overnight polysomnogram (sleep study). Treatment of EDS includes use of CPAP to treatment sleep apnea and the use of stimulant medications to help promote wakefulness.
A diagnostic tool used to determine whether an individual has chronic sleepiness that can indicate EDS is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. A score of ten or higher on the questions below indicates that the individual should consult a physician regarding this possible diagnosis.
Estimate the likelihood of falling asleep in the following situations:
0 = No chance of dozing
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing
_____ Sitting and reading
_____ Watching television
_____ Sitting inactive in a public place
_____ Being a passenger in a car for an hour with no break
_____ Lying down to rest in the afternoon
_____ Sitting and talking to someone
_____ Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
_____ Sitting in a car while stopped in traffic