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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes excessive day time sleepiness and drowsiness?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Abhijit Sonawane

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 601 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: while driving my car I suddenly realize I am miles past my destination almost as if I fell asleep, but I continue to drive without running off the road or getting into N ACCIDENT

i AM OTHERWISE A HEALTHY MALE, THIS PROBLEM STARTED RECENTLY AND USUALLY HAPPENS ON TRIPS LASTING A FEW HOURS
doctor
Answered by Dr. Abhijit Sonawane 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It sounds like narcolepsy. Kindly read ahead

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you for posting in HCM.
From what description you have given and also with background of ruling out sleep apnea, I feel it as more of narcolepsy which also means excessive day time sleepiness or drowsiness.
I assume to rule out sleep apnea you must have already done sleep study. But it is also important to know the quality and time you sleep in REM and NREM. I would like you to show the sleep study to a neurologist if it’s available with you. Your sleep must be inadequate or poor quality for some other reasons other than sleep apnea.
It can also result due to mind wandering like the mind is passively on road and driving comes along without you giving any active thoughts to it but you must be thinking of some other things. This could be more common cause than sleep apnea. If this is happening that your thoughts are wandering off from driving then you could miss the turn and keep on driving further without even realizing that you are past your destination of required turn. Give it some active thoughts whether it’s happening with you or not. If that’s not the case then follow the advice I gave above and consult a neurologist.
I hope I have answered your query well.
If you have any more question kindly write back to me, will be happy to help you out.
Thank you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Priyanka G Raj
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