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How is fatigue different from excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)?

Sleepiness during the day, or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), is defined as an inability to stay awake, especially in situations when wakefulness is important. These include at work, while caring for children and while behind the wheel of a car. Fatigue, on the other hand, is a state of overwhelming, sustained exhaustion and a reduced capacity for physical and mental work that rest doesn't improve.

In general, EDS can be a symptom of a sleep disorder or insufficient sleep, while fatigue can occur even after a full night's sleep and is more likely to be associated with an underlying medical condition or an underlying psychiatric condition such as depression.

While the medical community distinguishes between sleepiness and fatigue, both conditions negatively affect a person's quality of life, performance, safety and productivity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.