How to Solve Daytime Sleepiness? Caffeine is not the Answer!

How to Solve Daytime Sleepiness? Caffeine is not the Answer!

Many individuals who struggle with poor sleep or insomnia rely on coffee or other high-caffeine beverages to combat drowsiness. However, for some people, excessive daytime sleepiness due to underlying health issues poses a significant challenge. The implications for health are numerous, and until now, there hasn't been a clear consensus on the best treatment.

Individuals experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness often have an overwhelming urge to sleep during the day, which can be potentially dangerous. Fatigued from weeks or months of sleepless nights, these individuals may experience blackouts while driving or even cooking. This condition also affects their work and studies.

Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea

Despite finding the most effective medication, the researchers emphasize that the standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea remains continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. It involves using a respiratory device connected to a mask to assist individuals in breathing better during the night. "The most important thing people with OSAS should do is to use CPAP, but if they still experience daytime sleepiness, there are medication options that can reduce fatigue," explains Tyler Pitre, a physician and one of the study's authors. In other words, while effective, medication is considered a last resort.

Respironics Amara View CPAP Mask
Respironics Amara View CPAP Mask

Understanding the study that discovered a solution for daytime sleepiness

In the study that identified the best approach to treating daytime sleepiness, researchers conducted a systematic review of 14 clinical trials that tested different medications and proposed solutions for excessive sleepiness. The analysis involved data collected from over 3,000 volunteers.

By analyzing the clinical data, scientists observed that the most promising medication was solriamfetol. In addition to solriamfetol, two other medications, pitolisant and armodafinil, showed promising results in combating fatigue.

"It would be interesting to assess the efficacy of these medications against fatigue in related conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID, now that we know they work for a similar condition," says Dena Zeraatkar, another author of the study.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine and McMaster University

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