Daytime sleepiness is primarily a manifestation of depression and obesity, says a fresh report from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). While a good night’s sleep is required for the optimal functioning of the body clock, a disrupted cycle usually causes feelings of sleepiness during the day.

For the study, a set of 222 adults encountering excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) were inspected for a span of 7 and a half years. As per the outcomes, obesity was apparently the strongest indicator of EDS. Moreover, those who lost weight in the process appeared to experience fewer EDS symptoms. Depression seemed to come forward as another potential cause of EDS.

“The ‘epidemic’ of sleepiness parallels an ‘epidemic’ of obesity and psychosocial stress. Weight loss, depression and sleep disorders should be our priorities in terms of preventing the medical complications and public safety hazards associated with this excessive sleepiness,” remarked Alexandros Vgontzas, MD, the principal investigator of the trial.

The findings presented at Sleep 2012, basically showed that depression and obesity could be considered as major risk factors for EDS. According to the scientists, it’s not just less sleep and sleep apnea that cause issues like low concentration and work-related accidents, EDS could be a driving force too.

The scientists asserted that overcoming sleep problems, attaining weight loss and treating depression ought to be ‘priorities’ in terms of combating EDS. Previous studies have linked conditions like sleep apnea and insufficient sleep to high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, obesity and other metabolic conditions.

It’s time to ‘wake up’ and smell the coffee, the scientists say.