Hypersomnia is excessive sleepiness and it happens in different forms. So some people may be sleepy throughout the day or maybe become very sleepy at certain points during the day, and other people may have sleep attacks where they may be reasonably well between these attacks but some get sudden overwhelming sleepiness often in socially awkward or inconvenient circumstances such as during a meal or evening conversations with people.
And when people actually have this high performance they will often those will fall asleep and they may sleep from anything from few minutes, seconds sometimes up to hours depending on the cause of the Hypersomnia. The other form of Hypersomnia is that we often see where people will have micro sleep during the day and then they may carry out automatic actions such as sticking their socks in the fridge or writing nonsense or typing nonsense without actually being aware of what they’re doing because their brain is partially asleep.
Causes of Hypersomnia
The communist cause of Hypersomnia is getting inadequate amounts of sleep at night. We all need different lengths of sleep at night and some people will restrict their sleep unnecessarily leading them to be sleepy during the day.
The other communist cause of excessive sleepiness during the day is not getting adequate sleep at night because the sleep is disturbed. There may be a range of conditions that do that.
But the branch of Hypersomnia is narcolepsy. And narcolepsy is a very specific condition in which the Hypersomnia is caused by deregulation of sleep so that people will get sleep attacks during the day, but we also have disturbed and disrupted sleep at night and the understanding of what causes that is something that is particularly fascinating.
Well, recently it’s been discovered that though our brain cells that specifically regulate our sleep and then it may be damaged to those brain cells that cause the condition. And because of that and because those brain cells never grow again, narcolepsy is a condition that’s a lifelong condition. And so can have a devastating effect on people’s lives if left untreated.
Effects of Hypersomnia
Hypersomnia can have a devastating effect on people’s lives being excessively sleepy means that people cannot drive.
- It may affect their work because they may be falling asleep at work, but also can affect everyday aspects.
- It can affect relationships.
- It can affect their ability to do things around the house.
- So it can actually affect all aspects of a person’s life.
- The other aspect that it affects is that it can make people quite down and depressed. People with Hypersomnia will often find that because of the inability to do things that inability to socialize they’ve become socially isolated.
Lastly, importantly, sleep has a very critical role in memory and memory formation and concentration and both memory and concentration can suffer due to Hypersomnia. The important thing is that if we able to treat the Hypersomnia successfully then we can reverse nearly all of these problems.
The most important thing in treating Hypersomnia is making an accurate diagnosis because people are getting inadequate sleep then obviously increasing the amount of sleep that they have. That would be the way to treat that. People are getting disturbed sleep treating whatever is disturbing their sleep drugs to treat the Hypersomnia.
We all have a clock in our brain that tells us when we should go to sleep and when we should get up and when we should eat. An important thing about that is that the brain likes to have a routine a regular bedtime, a regular get up time. And if we tend to disturb that routine or tend to sleep in the regular hours then that can often disrupt and disturb our sleep overnight. We may get inadequate sleep during the week and then people try to catch up at weekends by lying in which is not a great habit.
The thing that is most challenging are those people who have Hypersomnia for other causes such as narcolepsy. And for those people who really need stimulants during the day to try to keep them awake. Interestingly, because people with narcolepsy have deregulated sleep sometimes giving them a hypnotic at night something to help them sleep at night may improve their sleepiness during the day.
So it’s often a combination of using something at night to help them sleep and something during the day to keep him awake. In addition, we have to try and cope with the deregulation of the dream sleep and we use certain drugs for that as well, many antidepressant type drugs that tend to affect our dream sleep tend to decrease their monitoring sleep we have and prevent those dreams sleep attacks that people may have during the day.