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Hypersomnia is excessive sleepiness, and it can be the case where patients will need naps or to sleep for several days with only brief periods of being awake, but getting much more deep sleep and less REM sleep than "normal"(1). About 5% of the population has excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). (2) Many people, however, don't report EDS because it is commonly misperceived that being sleepy during the day is not a health problem.
Sleep deprivation is a growing concern in the world today. "The net results of not getting enough sleep are impaired judgment, diminished creativity and productivity, inability to concentrate, reduced language and communication skills, slowed reaction times, and decreased abilities to learn and remember." (3) The NCSDR [U.S. National Center for Sleep Disorders]" estimates, "$150 billion a year in higher stress and reduced workplace productivity" can be attributed to sleep loss alone. (3) It is easy to see how these results would present problems for students trying to learn or to remember things, people trying to do jobs requiring thinking or physical dexterity, people involved in transportation or public safety whose job performance can directly affect the lives and safety of many of the persons in their charge or care, and people trying to challenge "Mother Nature's" circadian rhythms.
Dr. Mary Carskadon, Brown University, shares info about this problem in a December 1995 interview with the Brown Alumni Magazine. (4)
Both Canada and the United States reports show that accidental deaths are significantly more frequent during the switch to daylight savings time in spring than before or after the shift. (5) The switch to Daylight Savings Time shifts the clocks ahead an hour, and people loose an hour of sleep.
(1) Edelson, Edward. Sleep. Encyclopedia of health. New York. Chelsea house, 1996. p. 85-87. This source includes narcolepsy, hypersomnia, EDS, gastroesophageal reflex (heartburn or reflux), medications, and lack of adjustment to shiftwork among causes of EDS.
(2) Ancoli-Israel, Sonia. All I Want is a Good Night's Sleep. St. Louis, Mosby, 1996. (p.32)
(3) Hammon, A. Christopher. "If You Don't Snooze, You Lose: Getting a Good Night's Sleep is Critical to productivity and Creativity." The QDI report on sleep and stress: a publication of The Center for Sleep and Stress on the Web. By Quanta Dynamics, inc, July-Aug. 1997. at http://www.winnet/~quanta/css/qreport/july97-04.htm This address was as of Mar. 14, 1999. The company address since moved to: .http://www.quantadynamics.com/welcome.shtml address current as of Aug. 11, 1999.
(4) "Q & A with Mary A. Carskadon: A prominent sleep researcher says staying awake may be overrated." Interviewed by Jennifer Sutton. Elms, Brown Alumni Magazine. December 1995.
(5)Coren, Stanley. Sleep Thieves: an Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science & Mysteries of Sleep. New York: The Free Press, 1996. p. 274, 276[an error occurred while processing this directive]