These days, many conditions are being linked to obesity, but according to a new study, depression and obesity is now linked to daytime sleepiness as well. This data is significant because daytime sleepiness contributes to many workplace and driving accidents.

Studies related to this have found that obesity and depression are a main driving force behind daytime sleepiness. This information was presented at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting in Boston.

“The ‘epidemic’ of sleepiness parallels an ‘epidemic’ of obesity and psychosocial stress,” study author Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas of Penn State Hershey Sleep Research & Treatment Center is quoted as saying in a news release. “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.”

With both depression and obesity being such a large problem for many Americans, treatments for both have been prescribed in the highest numbers over the past few years. In fact, drugs like Paxil have seen a huge increase in use. These drugs, called SSRIs, are some of the most-prescribed medications in the country. This is despite the fact that these drugs have been linked to serious adverse side effects. Some of those side effects include aggressive and suicidal thoughts and behavior and birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant.

Other birth defects that have been linked to Paxil and Effexor include PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts, cleft palate and heart, lung and brain defects. These side effects have caused numerous researchers to review the real effects that these drugs have on depression. Many of those studies have found that antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor don’t do much more than a placebo to treat depression symptoms. Some doctors even believe that simple exercise and nutrition work better than antidepressants.

This new study linking depression and obesity (which, of course, can also cause depression in and of itself) to daytime sleepiness shows how necessary it is for scientists to find a real cure for the condition. Daytime sleepiness can be deadly when it strikes at the wrong time, and depression medications and obesity can be deadly on their own. Hopefully science will find a safe and effective solution for all three.