ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Experience with Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS)

Updated on March 31, 2015
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness | Source

EDS is Often not Recognized Because it's a Chronic Issue

Excessive daytime sleepiness, or EDS, can be a debilitating illness for many people. In fact, it's signs and symptoms often go unnoticed because most people who have it are accustomed to feeling sleepy during the day and therefore resign to the fact it's a part of life (www.medscape.org). Individuals may tend to adjust their daily activities and accommodate for the times when they become sleepy. For example, they may stop reading books because they can't make it past the first couple of pages without becoming drowsy; they might quit watching television during the day and only watch right before bed due to their tendency to drift off; and may avoid driving on long or even short trips in the car by themselves for fear of wrecking. Avoiding certain situations during the day for fear of becoming sleepy is a real issue, let alone experiencing this malady and either ignoring or just accepting it. Even more astounding is the fact that most people living with EDS don't mention this problem to their doctor because it's rarely the presenting problem (www.medscape.org) and is discovered only through assessment. EDS can affect a person's social life, employment, relationships, and basically all facets of their lives and can be a dangerous inconvenience.

Falling Asleep During Meetings is Extremely Embarrassing!

Source

My Experience...

I've had EDS since a young adult and it's an embarrassing condition that affects all aspects of my life. I first noticed something was "different" when I was in my mid-twenties while attending meetings at work. During these meetings, I would become so drowsy and sleepy, endlessly fighting the urge to shut my eyes for fear that I wouldn't seem interested, and mainly because I didn't want to get in trouble with my boss for "sleeping on the job". I appeared drunk and my eyes would cross again and again, and I would try so hard to keep them pried open. Putting my face down didn't help, and neither did looking around the room in the hopes I would become charged with a spurt of energy from seeing my fellow employees listening intently to that meeting. After about fifteen minutes of this, I couldn't stand it any longer- I would get up and excuse myself to the restroom to splash water on my face. And after sitting back down, it would only take about five minutes and I was right back to where I was before. This was the initial sign something wasn't quite right and at the time, had no idea what was happening. I just assumed I wasn't getting enough sleep; however, I was sleeping 7-8 hours a night and it just didn't make sense. And after a few years, I began to get intensely sleepy during my drive home no matter if I was driving or not. And then it began to spill over into my reading (which I must say was devastating, to say the least), and finally took it's hold over me while watching TV and surfing the internet. So as you can see, there's not much I can do without that damn sleepy feeling creeping up on me.

Factors and Treatment

In recent years, I've accepted the daily symptoms of EDS even though I take medication for Adult ADD, which theoretically helps to wake me up. Perhaps adult ADD is linked to EDS considering the symptoms of both are very similar? What's more, statistics show that an estimated 20% of the population experience this chronic condition (www.aafp.org) But I don't actually believe those numbers and I've only known three other people to suffer from this disorder, and one of them diagnosed with narcolepsy. Listed below are some known causes of EDS:

  • Insufficient quantity or quality of sleep at night (an obvious cause)
  • Certain sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Certain medications
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Genetics
  • Circadian rhythm disorder (i.e., jet-lag, shift-work, etc.)(www.wikipedia.org)

Needless to say, I've learned to chew gum during meetings and drink lots of caffeine throughout the day. And it's not very fun being joked with at work as "the girl who falls asleep during meetings", with my peers constantly tapping me, laughing and saying, "Don't fall asleep!" It seems the more you get comfortable at any time during the day, it's only minutes before that heavy feeling begins to invade your activity and the need to sleep is so intense it's almost unbearable. I don't think there's any one thing that will completely eliminate the symptoms, but possibly a combination of treatments can significantly ease some of the symptoms of chronic EDS, including standing up or walking, engaging in conversation with someone, participating in regular exercise, and if time permits, taking a short nap to re-energize if the feeling becomes too overpowering. It goes without saying getting more sleep at night may help decrease symptoms. Each individual is different, just as there are various causes in each case of EDS. Of course, no one should self-diagnose for this condition and scheduling a visit to your primary care physician to discuss your daytime sleepiness would be a great starting point.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ariesgirls profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Johnson 

      3 years ago from Vinton, Ohio

      Yeah, I'm not sure it's something that comes and goes or not. Personally, I think a lot of it is caused by lack of sleep- I get 4-5 hours a night. I don't think there's a definitive answer here. Thanks for reading:)

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 

      3 years ago from India

      one of my friend had excessive daytime sleepiness while we were in colleges and it seems that he has got rid of that these days. Am not sure whether he has undergone any treatment or not, but these days he looks to be perfectly fine.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)