Excessive Sleepiness Can Cause Higher Health Risks In Older People


  • At American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting, a research about hypersomnolence is going to be presented.
  • Research says that old people who feel sleepy during the day time are more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Next month at American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, a new research that is going to be presented. According to this research, older people who experience excessive sleepiness in the daytime are likely to be at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A disorder that makes old people feel overly tired, despite them getting adequate sleep at night, is called hypersomnolence. It has previously been linked to high blood pressure and cancer.

Study author Dr Maurice Ohayon, from Stanford University in California, said:

“Paying attention to sleepiness in older adults could help doctors predict and prevent future medical conditions.”

The researchers recruited more than 10,000 people and interviewed them twice over the phone, three years apart. Of all respondents, 34% were aged 65 or older. During the first phone interview, 23% of people over 65 years of age fit the criteria of excessive sleepiness. During the course of study, the risk of these respondents developing type 2 diabetes or blood pressure was found to be 2.3 times higher than the less sleepy participants. The respondents were also twice as likely to develop cancer.

Some more key findings

840 people identified by researchers said that they had experienced sleepiness in the day at the first phone interview. Out of these, 6.2% who reported sleepiness during this first interview developed type 2 diabetes, compared to 2.9% of those who were never sleepy during the day. Respondents reporting excessive sleepiness only in the second interview were 50% more likely to develop ailments in the musculoskeletal system like arthritis.

A member of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr Ohayon said:

“Older adults and their family members may want to take a closer look at sleeping habits to understand the potential risk for developing a more serious medical condition.”