Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, even after getting enough sleep at night. People with hypersomnia often struggle to stay awake during the day, which can interfere with their daily activities, work, and overall quality of life.

Frequently asked questions

What types of hypersomnia are there?

There are different types of hypersomnia:

Primary Hypersomnia: This is a standalone sleep disorder where excessive daytime sleepiness is the main symptom. It’s not usually linked to other medical conditions.

Narcolepsy: A type of hypersomnia that involves sudden, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day. People with narcolepsy might also experience muscle weakness triggered by emotions, known as cataplexy.

Idiopathic Hypersomnia: Similar to primary hypersomnia, idiopathic hypersomnia is characterized by excessive sleepiness, but the exact cause is unknown.

Recurrent Hypersomnia: This is a rare condition where people experience episodes of extreme sleepiness that can last for days or even weeks.

What causes hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia can result from various factors, including medical conditions like sleep apnea, certain medications, and even genetics. The underlying cause needs to be identified to determine the most effective treatment.

How do I manage hypersomnia?

Managing hypersomnia often involves a combination of lifestyle adjustments and medical interventions. Improving sleep hygiene, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and avoiding substances that can affect sleep (like alcohol and caffeine) can be helpful. In some cases, medications might be prescribed to promote wakefulness during the day.

How do I know if I need help with hypersonmia?

If you’re regularly feeling excessively sleepy during the day, especially if it’s affecting your daily activities, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can help diagnose the cause of your hypersomnia and guide you toward appropriate treatment options.