Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is characterized by persistent sleepiness and often a general lack of energy, even during the day after apparently adequate or even prolonged nighttime sleep. EDS can be considered as a broad condition encompassing several sleep disorders where increased sleep is a symptom, or as a symptom of another underlying disorder like narcolepsy, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, sleep apnea or idiopathic hypersomnia.
Some persons with EDS, including those with hypersomnias like narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day; fighting off increasingly strong urges to sleep during inappropriate times such as while driving, while at work, during a meal, or in conversations. As the compulsion to sleep intensifies, the ability to complete tasks sharply diminishes, often mimicking the appearance of intoxication. During occasional unique and/or stimulating circumstances, a person with EDS can sometimes remain animated, awake and alert, for brief or extended periods of time. EDS can affect the ability to function in family, social, occupational, or other settings. A proper diagnosis of the underlying cause and ultimately treatment of symptoms and/or the underlying cause can help mitigate such complications. According to the National Sleep Foundation, around 20 percent of people experience excessive daytime sleepiness.