Hypersomnia

What is Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder in which one suffers from recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep. Although one may have had a full night of uninterrupted sleep, there is still the compulsion to nap repeatedly throughout the day, often during inappropriate times such as during a meal, during work, or in the middle of conversation. The naps usually will provide no relief from symptoms.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Slow thinking
  • Slow speech
  • Increased irritation
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Issues with memory
  • Hallucinations

Hypersomnia may cause the sufferer to no longer function in social, family, or occupational settings.

The possible causes of hypersomnia include the following:

  • Depression
  • Sleep deprivation (not getting enough sleep at night)
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep apnea
  • Being overweight
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Side effect of prescription drugs
  • Genetics
  • Head injury
  • Neurological disease

Your doctor can help diagnose your condition with any of the following tests:

  • Blood test
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Polysomnography
  • Electroencephalogram

Pending your test results, your doctor may choose to prescribe medications including antidepressants, stimulants.

Changing habits such as going to bed earlier and eliminating caffeine and alcohol can also help.

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