Skip to content
    Select An Article

    Sleep and Hypersomnia

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Hypersomnia, which refers to either excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive time spent sleeping, is a condition in which a person has trouble staying awake during the day. People who have hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time -- for instance, at work or while they are driving. They may also have other sleep-related problems, including a lack of energy and trouble thinking clearly.

    According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 40% of people have some symptoms of hypersomnia from time to time.

    Recommended Related to Sleep Disorders

    Memory Foam: Pros and Cons

    Few things feel as good as a good night's sleep. That's especially true if sleep seems to escape you, night after night after night. If you've heard about memory foam, you may wonder if it could improve the quality of yoursleep. Some people swear by it. Others are less enthusiastic. What exactly is memory foam? And what are its pros and cons? Here's information to help you decide whether memory foam is worth a try.

    Read the Memory Foam: Pros and Cons article > >

    Causes of Hypersomnia

    There are several potential causes of hypersomnia, including:

    Diagnosing Hypersomnia

    If you consistently feel drowsy during the day, talk to your doctor. In making a diagnosis of hypersomnia, your doctor will ask you about your sleeping habits, how much sleep you get at night, if you wake up at night, and whether you fall asleep during the day. Your doctor will also want to know if you are having any emotional problems or are taking any drugs that may be interfering with your sleep.

    Your doctor may also order some tests, including blood tests, computed tomography (CT) scans, and a sleep test called polysomnography. In some cases, an additional electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures the electrical activity of the brain, is needed.

    Treatment of Hypersomnia

    If you are diagnosed with hypersomnia, your doctor can prescribe various drugs to treat it, including stimulants, antidepressants, as well as several newer medications (for example, Provigil and Xyrem).

    If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a treatment known as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. With CPAP, you wear a mask over your nose while you are sleeping. A machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nostrils is hooked up to the mask. The pressure from air flowing into the nostrils helps keep the airways open.

    If you are taking a medication that causes drowsiness, ask your doctor about changing to one that is less likely to make you sleepy. You may also want to go to bed earlier to try to get more sleep at night, and eliminate alcohol and caffeine.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein, MD on June 05, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    fatigued senior woman
    We’ve got 10 tips to show you how
    Man snoring in bed
    Know your myths from your facts.
     
    Young woman sleeping
    What do your dreams say about you?
    woman eith hangover
    It’s common, and really misunderstood.
     
    Young woman sleeping
    Quiz
    Cannot sleep
    Video
     
    child sitting in bed
    Article
    Woman with insomnia
    Quiz
     
    nurse sleeping
    ARTICLE
    Foods That Help Or Harm Your Sleep
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
    Slideshow
    Pain at Night
    ARTICLE