A US survey, conducted by The Harris Poll and sponsored by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, asked more than 300 sleep apnea patients and more than 300 partners of people living with sleep apnea about key topics connected to their experiences with excessive daytime sleepiness.

The survey found that than one-third (36%) of patients said their excessive daytime sleepiness has caused them to miss out on activities or events, avoid social situations, or give up activities. In addition, 17% of patients said excessive daytime sleepiness has led to problems at work (such as missing a deadline or meeting, being disciplined at work, losing/leaving a job, making a special arrangement, or missing out on opportunities like a raise or promotion), and 14% have fallen asleep at the wheel of a motorized vehicle (either stopped at a light/sign or while driving) in the last 12 months.

Nearly half of partners surveyed (45%) felt their significant other’s excessive daytime sleepiness negatively impacted their relationships, and 32% of partners reported having avoided social situations or missed activities/events because of their partner’s excessive daytime sleepiness.

“The kind of exhaustion associated with sleep apnea can cause significant problems for patients at home, at work, and in their personal relationships,” says Richard K. Bogan, MD, FCCP, FAASM, associate clinical professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and chief medical officer at SleepMed in Columbia, SC, in a release. “It is important for patients to know that this extreme tiredness is not their fault. Patients and their partners are encouraged to speak with their doctor to learn if the tiredness they are feeling during the day could be related to sleep apnea and discuss a treatment plan that can work for them.”

The survey highlighted that the majority of patients surveyed (73%) wished they knew more about treatment options for excessive daytime sleepiness other than CPAP (the most common form of airway therapy). A majority of partners surveyed (82%) would be likely to encourage their partner to make a change if recommended by their physician, including exercising more often (88%), changing their diet (85%) and taking a prescription medication (68%).

Jazz Pharmaceuticals has launched “A Different Kind of Tired,” an educational campaign geared toward helping people living with sleep apnea understand that the exhaustion they feel during the day may be something more and encourage them to seek help.

“Excessive daytime sleepiness related to sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes many people to struggle to stay awake each day,” says Jed Black, MD, senior vice president, Sleep and CNS Medicine at Jazz Pharmaceuticals and adjunct professor at Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. “This survey underscores the impact faced by patients and their loved ones who experience the negative effects of excessive daytime sleepiness related to sleep apnea. Continuing Jazz’s commitment to sleep medicine, we are excited to offer this community new resources and information about excessive daytime sleepiness related to sleep apnea through ‘A Different Kind of Tired.’”