What is Hypersomnia? Here’s all you need to know

It’s not common to experience heavy sleepiness during the day. But for some, hypersomnia, it’s a daily struggle. Characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and an inability to stay awake during the day, hypersomnia can be incredibly disruptive to everyday life.

People with this condition may need multiple naps or sleep for extended periods throughout the day. Living with hypersomnia isn’t easy, but understanding the situation is the first step toward getting your needed help.

Symptoms of hypersomnia can include difficulty waking up in the morning, feeling tired throughout the day, and difficulty concentrating. Check out the text and learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments – all science-based.

Hypersomnia symptoms

The symptoms of hypersomnia are characterized by abnormally increased sleepiness and daytime tiredness. These signs include excessive daytime sleepiness, deep and prolonged sleep, difficulty waking up, non-restorative sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, inability to maintain sleep at night, vivid dreams, and difficulty concentrating.

Some people with hypersomnia may also experience hallucinations, depression, anxiety, irritability, lack of energy, headaches, poor memory, and learning problems. If you share some of these symptoms, you must contact a doctor to discover if you have hypersomnia.


There are several possible causes of hypersomnia, including sleep disorders, medications, medical illnesses, alcohol or drug use, and other factors.

Neurological disorders that can cause hypersomnia include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Some medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, or medications to treat blood pressure, can also cause hypersomnia, so doctors must prescribe them.

In addition, some diseases, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and chronic fatigue syndrome, accompany hypersomnia. Stress and anxiety can also trigger the disorder.

How is hypersomnia diagnosed?

Diagnosing hypersomnia involves a thorough medical evaluation, including a detailed medical history, physical exam, blood work, and sleep tests.

During the evaluation, the doctor may ask about your symptoms, such as how long you sleep during the day when you wake up and how long you sleep at night. The doctor may also ask about other symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.

The doctor may also order blood tests to rule out other medical conditions causing excessive sleepiness. In addition, the doctor may recommend a polysomnography test to monitor sleep during the night.

Diagnosing hypersomnia may also include an evaluation by a sleep specialist. In addition, the specialist may recommend other tests, such as home sleep monitoring, to help determine the cause of the excessive sleepiness.

After diagnosing hypersomnia, the doctor may recommend treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medications, or behavioral therapy. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the hypersomnia and the symptoms.


Treatment for hypersomnia can include lifestyle changes, medications, supplements, and therapy.

  • Lifestyle changes: Lifestyle changes are essential for treating hypersomnia. These include avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulant substances, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding naps during the day, and getting regular exercise. You can check out this article with more tips on the dos and don’ts of maintaining your sleep hygiene!
  • Medications: Medications can be used to treat hypersomnia. The most commonly used drugs include antidepressants, stimulants, and sleep medications. However, they typically cause side effects and dependence.
  • Therapy: Therapy can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, sleep therapy, and behavioral therapy. It can help manage the symptoms of hypersomnia and help the patient develop strategies to improve sleep.
  • Supplements: Supplements can be used to treat hypersomnia. The most commonly used supplements include magnesium, vitamin B12, folic acid, omega-3s, and melatonin. If you need help determining which is best for your needs, you can take a free quick quiz to find out — on a scientific basis — which is suitable for you and your habits!

Frequently asked questions

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions about Hypersomnia! This section is designed to help those looking for specific information about hypersomnia. Here, you will find answers to common questions about hypersomnia. In addition, we hope this section can help answer any questions about hypersomnia.

Can it be prevented?

Yes, hypersomnia can be prevented by making lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, exercising regularly, and managing stress. Additionally, medications such as stimulants, antidepressants, and supplements may be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of hypersomnia.

Is narcolepsy the same as hypersomnia?

No, narcolepsy and hypersomnia are not the same. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden, uncontrollable episodes of sleep. Hypersomnia is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, often accompanied by long rest periods.

Can anxiety cause hypersomnia?

Yes, anxiety can cause hypersomnia. For example, stress can lead to difficulty sleeping, which can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and hypersomnia. In addition, other anxiety symptoms can contribute to hypersomnia, such as fatigue, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

Is hypersomnia and idiopathic hypersomnia the same?

No, they are not the same. Hypersomnia is a general term for excessive sleepiness, while idiopathic hypersomnia is a specific type of hypersomnia caused by an unknown factor.

What Are the Symptoms of Idiopathic Hypersomnia?

The primary symptom of idiopathic hypersomnia is excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty waking up in the morning;
  • Longer than normal nighttime sleep;
  • Difficulty staying awake during the day;
  • Unrefreshing sleep;
  • Cognitive impairment;
  • Memory problems;
  • Mood swings;
  • Low energy;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Irritability;
  • Headaches;
  • Weight gain;
  • Decreased libido.

Diagnosing Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Idiopathic hypersomnia is a rare sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty staying awake during the day. Diagnosis of idiopathic hypersomnia typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.

A doctor may ask questions about the patient’s sleep habits, lifestyle, and medical history. A physical examination may be performed to rule out other medical conditions causing excessive sleepiness.

Laboratory tests may include a sleep study, blood tests, and urine tests. The sleep study can help determine if the patient is getting enough sleep and if there are any underlying sleep disorders.

What Causes Idiopathic Hypersomnia?

The exact cause of idiopathic hypersomnia is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Other possible causes include genetic factors, autoimmune disorders, and certain medications.

Is there a treatment for idiopathic hypersomnia?

Yes, there is a treatment for idiopathic hypersomnia. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Lifestyle changes include getting enough sleep, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and exercising regularly. Drugs such as stimulants, antidepressants, and sodium oxybate may be prescribed to help manage symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people learn how to manage their sleep and wake cycles better.

Keyla Ketlyn
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