Hypersomnia Learn About Its Symptoms and Treatment

sounds familiar, it's possible that hypersomnia is something you're suffering from. Hypersomnia Learn About Its Symptoms and Treatment.

Hypersomnia Learn About Its Symptoms and Treatment
Hypersomnia Learn About Its Symptoms and Treatment

We all fell asleep once and still felt tired. In such cases, you may have been so sleepy during the day that you could not stay on your feet. If this sounds familiar, it's possible that hypersomnia is something you're suffering from. Hypersomnia Learn About Its Symptoms and Treatment.

Sleep-wake disorders can be classified into 10 different disease groups. These include insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, sleep disorders, circadian rhythm disorders, and restless leg syndrome.

This article will explain one of them: hypersomnia. In general, hypersomnia means sleeping too long. Those who suffer from it do not feel well rested and exhibit excessive sleepiness.

What are the features of hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a broad diagnostic term. It includes symptoms of falling asleep (for example, prolonged sleep at night or involuntary sleep during the day) and unhealthy sleep habits.

People with hypersomnia fall asleep quickly and have high sleep efficiency - over 90%. They may have trouble waking up in the morning, even appear confused, aggressive, or ataxic. (Ataxia refers to the lack of coordination between certain parts of the body.) This type of prolonged transition from sleep to wakefulness is sometimes called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is commonly referred to as "drunk sleep". It can also happen after waking up from your daily nap

During this period, the person appears to be awake. However, they have reduced motor skills and may behave inappropriately. Memory gaps, spatial disorientation, and dizziness are also common.

This awakening period can last from several minutes to hours. The persistent need for sleep can bring with it involuntary behavior that the person will not remember later. For example, there are people who discovered that a few months earlier they had unknowingly driven a car for several kilometers on "autopilot"

Lots of (bad) sleep

For some people with hypersomnia, nighttime sleep may last for 9 hours or more. However, this sleep is often not relaxing, and it is difficult to wake up even after hours of sleep.

In such cases, excessive sleepiness leads to involuntary daily naps. These daily naps tend to be long (even over an hour) and do not increase the level of arousal when the person wakes up. Instead, they still feel exhausted.

These naps can happen any day, despite the fact that they spend hours sleeping at night. On the other hand, the quality of sleep we are talking about may not be as good. These people still feel sleepy for a long time. This is different from a "sleep attack".

Involuntary episodes of sleep occur when a person is not aroused or active. For example, during conferences, reading, watching TV or driving long distances. In the most serious cases, this can happen even in situations that require a lot of attention - work, work meetings or social gatherings.

Hypersomnia - criteria for its diagnosis

This is the criterion for the diagnosis of hypersomnia:

  1. The subject experiences excessive sleepiness despite having at least 7 hours of sleep, with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Recurring periods of sleepiness or falling asleep during the day.
  • An initial episode of prolonged sleep (nine hours or more) that does not leave the person noticeably refreshed.
  • Difficulty remaining fully alert after waking up abruptly.

  1. The patient experiences attacks of hypersomnia at least 3 times a week for at least 3 months.
  2. Hypersomnia is accompanied by feelings of weakness and deterioration in cognitive, social, or other vital functions.
  3. Excessive sleepiness cannot be explained by another sleep disorder and does not appear solely in conjunction with other sleep disorders (narcolepsy, parasomnia, etc.).
  4. Hypersomnia cannot be attributed to the physiological effects of a specific substance (drug, alcohol, medications, etc.).
  5. The coexistence of mental illness and medications cannot adequately explain the repeated presence of hypersomnia.

Must Read: Stress before the exam? You can master it!

Additionally, 3 categories of hypersomnia:

  • Slight: Difficulty staying alert during the day, 1-2 days a week
  • Moderate: Difficulty staying alert during the day, 3-4 days a week
  • Extreme: Difficulty staying alert during the day, 5-7 days a week

Features associated with excessive sleepiness

While things like restless sleep, autopilot behavior, difficulty waking, and sleep inertia aren't uncommon, they can all be linked to other disorders such as narcolepsy.

About 80% of hypersomnia sufferers say their sleep is not refreshing. They have trouble waking up in the morning.

Sleep inertia, although less common, is a very specific symptom of hypersomnia. Short naps (less than 30 minutes) do not provide any relief from sleepiness.

When you see people with hypersomnia, it may seem as if they are napping - or actually asleep - in places such as doctor's waiting rooms.

A small percentage of people with hypersomnia have sleep problems in their family. Likewise, symptoms such as nervous system problems, headaches, peripheral vascular reactivity (as in Raynaud's syndrome), and fainting appear.

How common is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is diagnosed in about 5-10% of people who go to clinics for daytime sleep problems. About 1% of the population in Europe and the US have sleep inertia episodes. Hypersomnia affects men and women equally.

Hypersomnia - treatment

There are two approaches to treating this disease. On the one hand, there are pharmacological treatments. A sleep specialist may prescribe medication to help the patient stay awake longer.

This is better than taking large amounts of psychoactive substances like coffee. Excessive consumption of psychostimulants can lead to serious health problems, especially cardiological problems.

Non-pharmacological treatment essentially means modifying sleep patterns. This strategy involves training to control your stimuli and learn to detect when sleepiness is occurring. At this point, you can do a series of exercises to wake up.

There are also some techniques you can use to help you concentrate. If these don't work, it could indicate a more serious mindfulness problem.

Additionally, sleep hygiene techniques can be very important. Through sleep hygiene, the patient can establish better sleep conditions that will help them rest better. The guidelines for sleep hygiene deal with environmental factors (room temperature, lighting, etc.) and digestive factors (not eating certain snacks while lying down or just before bed). Others relate to various factors related to leisure.

That being said, hypersomnia is a medical and psychological condition that should be treated as such. If reading this diagnostic criterion makes you think you are hypersomnia, we advise you to see a doctor. Remember that only a doctor can diagnose you.