PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does sleep apnea lead to excessive sleepiness?

ANSWER

Sleep apnea happens when the upper airway collapses for at least 10 seconds during sleep -- up to hundreds of times each night. Snoring and gasping for air as the airway reopens happen often with sleep apnea. Because your breathing is interrupted, so is your sleep, leading to sleepiness during school, work, or other activities.

SOURCES: 

News release, FDA.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Hypersomnia Information Page.”

Medscape: “Management of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Reviewed.”

eMedicine: “Primary Hypersomnia.” 

eMedicine: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” 

eMedicine: “Disorders that Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias).”

National Sleep Foundation: “Fatigue and Excessive Sleepiness.”

National Sleep Foundation: “Depression and Sleep.”

Narcolepsy Network: “FAQ.”

RLS Foundation: “What Is RLS?” 

RLS Foundation: “FAQ.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 19, 2017

SOURCES: 

News release, FDA.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “NINDS Hypersomnia Information Page.”

Medscape: “Management of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Reviewed.”

eMedicine: “Primary Hypersomnia.” 

eMedicine: “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” 

eMedicine: “Disorders that Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias).”

National Sleep Foundation: “Fatigue and Excessive Sleepiness.”

National Sleep Foundation: “Depression and Sleep.”

Narcolepsy Network: “FAQ.”

RLS Foundation: “What Is RLS?” 

RLS Foundation: “FAQ.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 19, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What other problems can sleep apnea cause relative to excessive sleepiness?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.