Q. I have excessive daytime sleepiness. Why and how to treat it?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 29, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 16-year-old female. My weight is 85 kilograms, and I have a height of 5 feet 3 inch. I have excessive daytime sleepiness for the past three years. It got started in me before three years, and my parents took me to the local GP immediately. They did blood tests and told that I have iron and folic deficiency. But I am still suffering even after the deficiency is gone. I always get sleep during the daytime. I try myself to stay awake for daily activities. I struggle extremely. It is interfering me in my day to day life. When I go to GP, they keep recommending me blood tests. I need a solution for my problem. Please help.



Welcome to

You have obstructive sleep apnea. Please say about other symptoms whether you had snoring, interrupted sleep, unrefreshed sleep, and morning headaches. If you had these symptoms, it supports the diagnosis. It is a condition characterized by obstruction of upper airway especially during sleep due to narrowing of airway due to obesity.

Obstruction of upper airway leads to temporary stoppage of respiration, increased sympathetic drive, and increased pulse rate. Also, another reason for pulse rate rise is deconditioning as you are not accustomed to activities.

You can do ENT examination if you have nasal stiffness, and recurrent tonsillitis to rule out the nasal causes of obstruction. You can also do a thyroid function test, lipid profile, sugar, Hba1c, vitamin D, and polysomnography. Polysomnography is a sleep study used to confirm the diagnosis and to know the extent of the disease. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is needed.

You have to reduce weight. It is the first line of treatment. You need to have low fat, and a low-calorie diet to lose weight. Secondly, CPAP is a mask and device, and the pressure during inspiration and expiration during sleep keeps your airways patent and avoid this from happening. Also, regular exercise is essential. Chest physiotherapy and yoga will be helpful. So you can follow these steps, or you can visit a nearby sleep specialist or pulmonologist.

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