Due to extensive clinical and electrophysiological overlaps, the correct diagnosis of disorders with excessive daytime sleepiness is often challenging. The aim of this study was to provide diagnostic measures that help discriminating such disorders, and to identify parameters, which don't. In this single-center study, we retrospectively identified consecutive treatment-naïve patients who suffered from excessive daytime sleepiness, and analyzed clinical and electrophysiological measures in those patients in whom a doubtless final diagnosis could be made. Of 588 patients, 287 reported subjective excessive daytime sleepiness. Obstructive sleep apnea is the only disorder that could be identified by polysomnography alone. The diagnosis of insufficient sleep syndrome relies on actigraphy as patients underestimate their sleep need and the disorder shares several clinical and electrophysiological properties with both narcolepsy type 1 and idiopathic hypersomnia. Sleep stage sequencing on MSLT appears helpful to discriminate between insufficient sleep syndrome and narcolepsy. Sleep inertia is a strong indicator for idiopathic hypersomnia. There are no distinctive electrophysiological findings for the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome. Altogether, EDS disorders are common in neurological sleep laboratories, but usually cannot be diagnosed based on PSG and MSLT findings alone. The diagnostic value of actigraphy recordings can hardly be overestimated.