Hypersomnia - Causes and Symptoms
Causes of Hypersomnia
There are several causes of hypersomnia, including:
- The sleep disorders narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness) and sleep apnea (interruptions of breathing during sleep)
- Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, or drug or alcohol abuse
- A physical problem, such as a tumor, head trauma, or injury to the central nervous system
- Not getting enough sleep at night (sleep deprivation)
- Being overweight
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- A head injury or a neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis
- Prescription drugs, such as tranquilizers
- Certain medications, or medicine withdrawal, may also cause hypersomnia
- Genetics (having a relative with hypersomnia)
People experiencing hypersomnia do not get abnormal amounts of nighttime sleep. However, they often have problems waking up in the morning and staying awake during the day. People with hypersomnia nap frequently, and upon waking from the nap, do not feel refreshed.
The hypersomnia symptoms include:
The predominant complaint is excessive sleepiness for at least 1 month (or less if recurrent) as evidenced by either prolonged sleep episodes or daytime sleep episodes that occur almost daily.
The excessive sleepiness causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Anxiety, increased irritation, decreased energy, restlessness, slow thinking, slow speech, loss of appetite, hallucinations, and memory difficulty.
Some patients lose the ability to function in family, social, occupational, or other settings
People with Kleine-Levin syndrome have symptoms that differ from the symptoms of other forms of hypersomnia. These people may sleep for 18 or more hours a day. In addition, they are often irritable, uninhibited, and make indiscriminate sexual advances.
People with Kleine-Levin syndrome often eat uncontrollably and rapidly gain weight, unlike people with other forms of hypersomnia. This form of recurrent hypersomnia is very rare.
- Relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback devices, aromatherapy and sound therapy, help avoid night time anxiety.
- Eat a well-balanced diet to prevent vitamin or nutritional deficiencies
- Avoid daytime napping.
- Keep your bedroom at a pleased temperature; neither too cold nor too hot. Some physicians believe that a cooler bedroom is more comfortable for sleep.
- Have a standard sleeping routine so that your body “knows” it is time to sleep.
- Only go to bed when you feel really sleep. Do not use the bed to do any activities such as paying bills or watching television, with sex as the only exception.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a normal weight for your height.
- Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and caffeinated drinks near bed time.