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Epidemiology of Daytime Sleepiness: Definitions, Symptomatology, and Prevalence

Terry B. Young, Ph.D.

Published: December 15, 2004

Article Abstract

Daytime sleepiness, or difficulty in maintaining a desired level of wakefulness, is frequentlyviewed by the general population as a common experience and predictable consequence of insufficientsleep. However, daytime sleepiness can have a serious impact on an individual’s health, safety,and quality of life. Despite the fact that population-based studies have found that 1 in 5 adults suffersfrom daytime sleepiness, there is a lack of consistency in how daytime sleepiness is defined, measured,and interpreted, which may affect the medical management of the disorder. For example, manymeasures of sleepiness based on sleep propensity and falling asleep tend to overlook patients with insomniaand sleepiness. Sleep scales that contain sensitive and specific questions are needed to measurefatigue and perceptions of sleepiness.

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Volume: 6

Quick Links: Sleep-Wake


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