Treatment for hypersomnia -- excessive daytime sleepiness -- depends on the cause of the sleep disorder. For example, if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a treatment known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to use when sleeping. With CPAP, you wear a mask over your nose that is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nostrils. The pressure from air flowing into the nostrils helps keep the airways open.
If you are taking a medication that causes drowsiness, your doctor may suggest trying another drug instead. He or she may also suggest certain lifestyle modifications, such as going to bed earlier to try to get more sleep at night, and eliminating alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Tony Roy is among the 30% of American adults with insomnia-related problems. “I can go to sleep, but I wake up three or four hours later,” says Roy, a 51-year-old philosophy professor at California State University, San Bernardino. When he sought help at the nearby Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center, he got advice that had never occurred to him: Pay close attention to your bedroom temperature.
For years, Roy had followed his energy-conscious wife’s suggestion to lower...