When it is not due to an extrinsic origin, somnolence may be the main symptom of various diseases. Among these causes of excessive daytime sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is noteworthy for its very important prevalence, estimated at 4% in adult males. Due to repeated upper airway obstructions during sleep, this disease is efficiently treated by continuous positive airway pressure applied through a nasal masks during sleep. Another syndrome, periodic limb movements during sleep may also lead to a sleep fragmentation at the origin of daytime sleepiness. Its treatment is principally based on dopaminergic agonists. Narcolepsy-cataplexy and idiopathic hypersomnia are two causes of excessive daytime sleepiness in young people. The first is as frequent as multiple sclerosis and the second is ten times less frequent. The treatment of these two diseases is now based on a new French drug: modafinil(Modiodal). Sleep pathology still has only a small place in medical training. Excessive daytime sleepiness is therefore often misdiagnosed. In addition to their major risk of work or road accidents, numerous untreated patients continue to suffer from this very unpleasant symptom, at the origin of a major social handicap.