Hypersomnia or daytime sleepiness

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 30th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Sleep

Many people complain they do not get enough sleep. Yet, sleep affects are physical and mental health. Not having enough sleep affects our mood, our stamina, our home-life and career, and our social relationships


Sleep is an important human function which is essential for good physical health and good mental health. Even though sleep is so important many people take sleeping for granted. They either sleep too much or more often than not, sleep less than is recommended for good health. The Individuals in question will catnap rather than sleep, burn the midnight oil studying, play on the computer, or just insist that they are too busy too sleep.

We have looked at insomnia where people do not get enough sleep at night, now we will look at people who sleep too much during the day.

What is Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a condition where people are sleepy during the day. People with hypersomnia will fall asleep during the day at different intervals or at strange times. They will also stay asleep for long periods at a time.

Difference between hypersomnia and narcolepsy

Hypersomnia like narcolepsy, occurs during the daytime; but, does have different characteristics. People with hypersomnia are more capable of resisting the urge to sleep during the day than people who have narcolepsy. However, it is to be noted that people suffering from hypersomnia still can fall asleep during driving or work or other dangerous situations.

People with hypersomnia usually stay asleep longer than people suffering from narcolepsy. Also, people with hypersomnia do not suffer from the auxiliary or secondary conditions of narcolepsy which are: hypnogogic hallucinations, cataplexy (loss of muscle tone), and sleep paralysis.

Other symptoms associated with hypersomnia

lack of energy
trouble thinking clearly

Types of hypersomnia

Idiopathic hypersomnia

Idiopathic hypersomnia, which is sometimes called and classified as primary hypersomnia, is prolonged daytime sleepiness over a long period of time. Idiopathic insomnia can go on for years. The amount of daytime sleeping is quite extensive as well. A nap is usually under 45 minutes, but hypersomnia could be hours of sleeping during the day. The symptoms are almost always present.

Recurring hypersomnia

Differs in that it appears in bouts of excessive sleepiness which lasts for days on end then disappears; but reoccurs several times during the year and continues over the years in this fashion.

Causes for hypersomnia

Hypersomnia: A Sleep Disorder Characterized by Daytime Sleepiness

We have looked at insomnia where people do not get enough sleep at night, now we will look at people who sleep too much during the day. Many Individuals will feel they have this condition because they do not get enough sleep at night and are tired during the day. Please note do not self diagnosis, consults with a sleep disorders specialist.

Prevalence for hypersomnia

The National Sleep Foundation, maintains that about 40 percent of the population will experience some form of hypersomnia in their lifetime.

Though 5 to 10 percent of the population will actually be diagnosed with the condition
The onset of the disorder is usually between the age of 15 – 30.
Some forms of hypersomnia such as Kleine-Levin syndrome will affect the male population three times more than the female population.

However, this disorder is very rare. It is to be noted that Idiopathic hypersomnia is probably one of the most overdiagnosed sleep disorder.

Causes for hypersomnia

Narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness)
Sleep apnea (loss of breath during sleep)
Sleep deprivation
Shift work
Carrying excess weight (obesity)
Drug and alcohol abuse
Head injury
Certain Medication such as tranquilizers

Some sleeps specialist believe that hypersomnia can be a central brain disorder. Still nobody knows for sure.

Hypersomnia diagnosis

Hypersomnia diagnosis

If sleepiness during the day is affecting your home, work, and social life, it is best to be tested by a doctor. The doctor will take a medical history, do a physical exam, ask about your sleeping habits, ask what medication you are taking, ask lifestyle questions like do you smoke, or drink and how much exercise do you do. The doctor will also ask about your emotional well being such as are depressed or very stressed most of the time.

The doctor may then order a series of tests, such as blood tests, CT scan, and a polysomnography, which is a special sleep test. Your doctor may also order a brain activity test called an EEG. (electroencephalogram).

Hypersomnia treatment

The common medications for hypersomnia include: antidepressants, stimulants, and the newer modafinil drug with the brand name of Provigil. This new stimulant like the others, stimulant the brain neurotransmitters.

The doctor will advise eliminating caffeine and alcohol from your diet.

He or she may also change any prescription medications that may be interfering with your sleep patterns

You may also need to change your sleep habits by getting to bed earlier at night.

The doctor may also proscribe a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP,) if you are also suffering from sleep apnea. This device is a facial apparatus, or mask, that is worn when sleeping. It releases a continual airflow that enters the nostrils and descends the air passageway in order to prevent oxygen deprivation when sleeping.

All photos taken from the public domain

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Cataplexy, Causes For Hypersomnia, Daytime Sleepiness, Hypersomnia, Hypersomnia And Narcolepsy, Hypnogogic Hallucinations, I Hypersomnia Treatment, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, Kleine-Levin Syndrome, Loss Of Muscle Tone, Mary Hypersomnia, Recurring Hypersomnia, Rhypersomnia Diagnosis, Sleep, Sleep Disorder, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Paralysissleeping, Sleep Problem, Sleepiness, Sleepy

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Hibernating Bear
30th Jul 2015 (#)

Try the dentist destroying the bite for evenness of the filling. It brings it too.
Now I am a night shift worker in the UK and I just have to sleep during the day.

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author avatar Hibernating Bear
30th Jul 2015 (#)

Now you do look overweight and obese, do you suffer from it? Don't tell me your pile on weight is because of kids, my wife has had kids and is a perfect figure and a very active person who works the day shift so we just meet on weekends.
Sorry to hear of your ailment, Montreal blessing I take it?

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