Can’t Keep Your Eyes Open?

May 4, 2017| Health and Wellbeing /

If this is happening to you on a regular basis you could be suffering from excessive sleepiness, a condition that can and should be treated.

We all have days when we feel tired. When we’d rather curl up under our desk than turn on the computer. Generally though, whether it’s too many late nights binge watching Netflix, a teething baby or a heavy work schedule, we know why.

Some people however, feel a sense of overwhelming tiredness every day, without a clear cause. Tiredness is a significant problem in their lives and they can find themselves falling asleep throughout the day - at work, out with friends, maybe even while driving.

It’s known as excessive sleepiness, or hypersomnia, and it’s often a symptom of other underlying conditions.

The main cause of excessive sleepiness is insufficient sleep.
Most healthy adults need between 7.5 and 8.5 hours a night on a regular basis in order to function optimally.

However, it can be caused by more serious conditions including sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, narcolepsy and parasomnia, movement disorders including restless leg syndrome and drug and alcohol use.
— Dr Marcus McMahon, Sleep Disorders Physician, Epworth HealthCare

Underlying health conditions, including heart and lung problems and diabetes can also make it difficult to get enough sleep, as can pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. People with depression and anxiety may also find it hard to get enough sleep.

Excessive sleepiness requires a good evaluation with a doctor or sleep physician. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale, a simple 8-point questionnaire developed at Epworth Richmond, is used internationally to assess whether sleepiness in different situations falls into the normal range for healthy adults. Sleepiness can also be assessed objectively using specialised sleep tests.

 Getting better sleep

If an evaluation determines that it’s simply a case of not getting enough sleep, there are some basic things that can be done to address this. They include:

·         going to bed at a regular time each night
·         making sure bedrooms are dark, quiet and cool
·         resetting your body clock each day by getting out in bright light or daylight exposure in the mornings
·         avoiding stimulants such as caffeine in the afternoon and evenings
·         minimising alcohol consumption.

The body is generally designed to sleep overnight and be alert during the day. Shift workers often struggle with this. The same suggestions above apply, however, they may also need to do things like minimise daytime noise and keep shifts consistent to help develop a good sleep pattern. Making a conscious effort to get enough sleep is also important, which can be hard as sporting, social and family events are usually during the day.

If a sleep evaluation indicates a more serious condition a doctor or sleep physician will recommend treatment or further testing.



Epworth

Join the conversation on The Village



June 17, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

When Period Pain Strikes Again

We caught up with Dr Kent Kuswanto, Epworth obstetrician and gynaecologist to talk all things periods.

June 13, 2019| Our Community/

Team Recipes - Super Moist Gluten Free Banana Bread

Recipes brought to you by the Epworth team. You can’t stop at one slice and you’ll never know it’s gluten free! Slice & serve warm.

June 11, 2019| Our Community/

First Birthday for Epworth Cousins

It’s been a year since we’ve been following sisters Alex and Jane’s bubs - Charlotte and Lola. It’s been a year since they both gave birth to their daughters, one at Epworth Freemasons and the other at Epworth Geelong. Let’s find out how life has changed since then.

June 4, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac or pouch which forms on the ovary. Ovarian cysts, in most cases are harmless and resolve on their own. If the cyst is cancerous, it requires medical intervention. Ovarian cysts are common in women of childbearing age.

May 21, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Catering for Someone with a Food Allergy

With 1 in 10 infants now developing a food allergy, being conscious of what you are buying and how you prepare food is more important than ever.