Hypersomnia Disorder: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a disorder in which you feel drowsy throughout the day. It might happen even after a lengthy period of sleep. Excessive daytime drowsiness (EDS) is another word for hypersomnia.

It is a condition that can be either primary or secondary. Secondary hypersomnia is caused by another medical disorder. Hypersomniacs have trouble working throughout the day because they are exhausted all of the time, which can impact their attention and energy levels.

What are the types of hypersomnia?

It is classified as either primary or secondary.

There are no additional medical disorders that cause primary hypersomnia. Excessive fatigue is the only symptom.

Other medical disorders might cause secondary hypersomnia. Sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, renal failure and chronic fatigue syndrome are examples. These problems result in a lack of sleep at night, making you tired throughout the day.

Narcolepsy is a neurologic disease that produces uncontrollable sleep episodes throughout the day. This disorder is not the same as narcolepsy. Hypersomniacs can stay up on their own, but they are exhausted.

Causes

Dysfunction in the brain systems that govern sleep and waking processes is considered to be the cause of primary hypersomnia.

Secondary hypersomnia is a condition that occurs as a result of tiredness or poor sleep. For example, sleep apnea can induce hypersomnia since it causes difficulty breathing at night, causing people to wake up many times.

Hypersomnia is a side effect of several medicines. Frequent drug and alcohol usage can cause daytime drowsiness. Low thyroid function and a brain injury are two more possibilities.

Risk factors

It is more common among those who have disorders that make them fatigued throughout the day. Sleep apnea, renal disease, heart disease, brain disease, atypical depression and poor thyroid function are among these disorders.

According to the American Sleep Association, men are more affected than women.

This disorder is also a concern for people who smoke or drink heavily on a daily basis. Drowsiness-inducing medications might induce negative effects comparable to hypersomnia.

Symptoms

Constant fatigue is the most common symptom of hypersomnia. People who suffer from disorder may take naps throughout the day without ever waking up. They also have trouble waking up after sleeping for extended periods of time.

Other hypersomnia symptoms include:

  • Low power consumption
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slow speech and thinking
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Restlessness

Do I have hypersomnia?

A doctor will examine your symptoms and medical history to determine your illness. A physical examination can be used to assess alertness.

This disorder is diagnosed using a variety of tests, including:

  • By using a sleep diary, you keep track of your sleeping patterns by recording your sleep and waking periods throughout the night.
  • The Epworth Drowsiness Scale is a tool that allows you to rate your sleepiness in order to evaluate the severity of your issue.
  • You take a daytime nap while being monitored for several sleep latency tests. The exam assesses the different types of sleep you have.
  • A polysomnogram is a sleep study in which you spend the night at a sleep clinic. Brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, oxygen levels, and breathing function are all monitored by a machine.

What is the treatment for hypersomnia?

Depending on the reason, there are a variety of hypersomnia treatments available.

Many narcolepsy medications can also be used to treat hypersomnia. Amphetamine, methylphenidate and modafinil are among them. Stimulants are medicines that make you feel more alert.

Lifestyle changes are an important component of the recovery process. A doctor may advise you to start sleeping on a regular schedule. Avoiding certain activities, especially around night, might help alleviate discomfort.

Alcohol and narcotics should be avoided by most persons with this disorder. A high-nutrition diet may also be recommended by a doctor to naturally sustain energy levels.

How to get rid of hypersomnia?

Some types of hypersomnia cannot be prevented. It may be avoided by providing a calm sleeping environment and avoiding alcohol. Also, stay away from drowsy medicines and avoid working late at night.

Outlook

With the appropriate lifestyle adjustments, some persons with hypersomnia can improve their symptoms. Medications can also help with this problem. However, some people may never fully recover. Although this is not a life-threatening illness, it can have a negative influence on a person’s quality of life.

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