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Excessive Sleepiness associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The National Sleep Foundation

Medically Reviewed by

The National Sleep Foundation

Written by

The National Sleep Foundation

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, proper medical treatment is key. Often people cannot achieve a fully alert and productive state without some form of medical intervention. In conjunction with proper treatment, here are tips for staying alert during the day.

  • Take naps of approximately 20 minutes in length. If your workplace is supportive of napping, explain that a short nap increases your productivity and schedule naps during the workday. Locate an office you can reserve or find a safe and comfortable place to lie down briefly. Try not to nap in the late afternoon or evening, as it can interfere with nighttime sleep.
  • Stand or walk frequently. This increases circulation and can help you feel more alert and creative. Make a practice of standing or walking when you are on the phone. Use a standing desk if possible.
  • Consuming caffeine during the day can help you maintain alertness and productivity. It’s best to end this by the afternoon so that your body can prepare for sleeping at night.

Many people feel a natural dip in alertness in the mid afternoon, when you may schedule a short nap or activities that require less alertness and creativity.