Hypersomnia – Extreme Tiredness Or Drowsiness

Hypersomnia, or extreme fatigue, is one of the problems that many people often neglect or underestimate. However, this is very bad because it can have very negative effects on a person’s performance. In our article today we talk about this neurological disorder and its possible causes.
Hypersomnia - Extreme tiredness or addiction to sleep

An estimated 4 to 6% of the population are affected by hypersomnia or insomnia. It is a common problem, but it often goes undetected, especially by those affected. Because people often confuse this disorder with tiredness or exhaustion. However, hypersomnia can occur for many reasons. Therefore, a professional assessment and examination is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.

The consequences are significant. Although many people now consider the presence of this excessive sleepiness in their life to be normal. In fact, this condition often leads to a deterioration in the ability to concentrate and remember.

In addition, hypersomnia causes mood swings that significantly interfere with daily activities. Read on to find out more about this neurological disorder and its possible causes.

Hypersomnia - woman at the computer

What is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is also known as sleep addiction. This is a physiological condition that causes a person to become tired during the day for seemingly inexplicable reasons. The sufferer experiences a subjective narcotic feeling during the day, which prevents him from going about his daily life in a normal way. In order for a doctor to diagnose hypersomnia in a person, symptoms must have occurred daily for at least three months.

However, it is not always easy to find out what exactly is happening. Some people just feel extremely tired and have no idea why this is so. But in order to recognize hypersomnia, you need to consider the extent to which you feel sleepy in the following (and similar) situations:

  • Watching television.
  • As a passenger during a one-hour drive.
  • When you are sitting in a public space like a movie theater or conference room.
  • While reading a book.
  • When you sit to rest after eating.

If you feel extremely tired in most of these situations, it is very likely that you have hypersomnia. However , the causes for this are very different and can vary considerably from person to person. It is therefore very important to first identify the cause of the problem in order to mitigate or eliminate the consequences.

What are the causes of hypersomnia?

Insufficient or poor sleep

In order to function well during the day, people need a good night’s sleep. When a person suffers from chronic insomnia, this lack of sleep takes its toll. Therefore, hypersomnia occurs in people who only sleep five hours or less each night for an extended period of time.

This can either be due to insomnia or the result of a lifestyle in which the person restricts their sleep hours for professional or social reasons. Often these people have difficulty getting up in the morning. Therefore, this behavior can lead to sudden drowsiness during the day.

If you interrupt or fragment your nightly sleep, it is far from restful. People with insomnia, restless legs syndrome, or respiratory diseases are likely to wake up several times during the night. This in turn leads to a constant deterioration in the quality of sleep and then hypersomnia can occur.

Hypersomnia - woman sleeps in front of the TV

Primary sleep disorders

There are also several disorders in which hypersomnia is a major symptom. For example, narcolepsy usually begins with excessive daytime sleepiness. Gradually, other symptoms such as cataplexy, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations follow.

In addition, this symptom also occurs in disorders such as idiopathic hypersomnia or Kleine Levin syndrome. There is a considerable increase in the number of hours you sleep each day and a more or less irresistible need for sleep during the day.

Other causes

Encephalopathies, trauma, and dementia are among the many causes of excessive daytime sleepiness. In addition , hypersomnia can be a symptom of depressive episodes or it can be due to the use of certain drugs or substances. 

In short, hypersomnia is a common symptom of various organic, neurological, and psychiatric diseases. Those affected suffer because they have significant difficulty in leading a satisfactory and functional life. Because hypersomnia affects both cognitive functions and the emotional state of those affected.

If you feel that you or someone close to you is in such a situation, you should see a doctor. In some cases, this symptom is an indication of another condition that needs treatment. And in some cases, it’s just a challenge for you to be more careful about your sleep needs.

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