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Hypersomnia: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Sleep is a very important element in the daily cycle of all people, because through this physiological process our body replenishes the energies that have been consumed in the activities that we have carried out. Some people, however, may have their sleep-wake cycle altered either due to a lack of sleep known as insomnia, or due to the constant feeling of tiredness and constant need to sleep, which is known as hypersomnia, which are usually interrelated and that can alter our performance at work, studies and others. In this FastlyHealarticle we will explain everything related to hypersomnia: causes, symptoms and treatment so that, in case you may be affected by this condition, you have some ways to reduce its consequences.

What is hypersomnia

A normal physiological state of our body is that of drowsiness, which is the state that leads us to want to sleep to replenish energy consumed throughout the day. However, when a person suffers from constant drowsiness throughout the day and at inappropriate times and times and that lasts for more than a month, it can be considered as hypersomnia, which can have several possible causes.

Symptoms of hypersomnia

The main symptom of people who suffer from hypersomnia is, as one might suppose, excessive sleep throughout the day , which can lead them to take excessive naps that are usually long and do not improve the symptoms.

Apart from this, other symptoms appear secondary to insufficient rest, such as:

  • Irritability.
  • Lack of energy and concentration.
  • Disorientation.
  • Difficulty communicating.

Causes of hypersomnia

There are many causes why a person can suffer from hypersomnia, some more complex than others.

Most hypersomnia episodes are a consequence of insufficient or fragmented sleep. By insufficient sleep, we mean when a person does not sleep enough time during the night, either due to work, social reasons or caused by the affected person, which for an adult should be around 7 hours, but not less than 5.

Another common cause of hypersomnia is sleep fragmentation , that is, the interruption of sleep throughout the night for multiple times, which causes the person not to get enough rest. This is usually due to sleep disorders, perhaps the most common of which is sleep apnea .

Other less frequent conditions that produce hypersomnia are pathological conditions. One of them is narcolepsy , which is a very rare condition of unknown cause characterized by excessive hypersomnia and sudden episodes of loss of consciousness and muscle tone, usually triggered by strong emotions.

Like narcolepsy, Kleine-Levin syndrome is a rare and unexplained cause of hypersomnia. Also called the sleeping beauty syndrome, it is characterized by periods of sleep that last up to 18 hours that appear every so often that can be weeks or months. Wake time can be accompanied by excessive hunger, aggressiveness, and disorientation.

Other possible causes of hypersomnia include:

  • Depression.
  • Central nervous system damage due to toxic, metabolic, or traumatic reasons
  • Consumption of certain medications, such as sedatives, antidepressants, anxiolytics and antiepileptics.
  • Sometimes the cause may be unknown.

Treatment for hypersomnia

The treatment for hypersomnia is based on eliminating or reducing the effects of the condition that causes excessive sleep. Reprogramming and organizing the schedule of daily activities can help to get extra hours to get enough sleep for people who suffer from hypersomnia from insufficient sleep, for example.

In the case of fragmented sleep, the sleep disorders that produce the alteration should be controlled , using drugs such as benzodiazepines and antiepileptics when necessary.

For disorders such as narcolepsy or Kleine-Levin syndrome, it is important to inform patients about their condition and what situations to avoid to avoid episodes. As pharmacological treatments, stimulant medications such as methylphenidate, methamphetamine derivatives, modafillin, lithium, valproate and carbamazepine are usually indicated, and as a general measure patients are advised to avoid the consumption of coffee and alcohol.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hypersomnia: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .

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