What is Hypersomnolence Disorder?
Do you tend to take multiple naps during the day? Are you feeling tired even when you have slept for hours?
Such disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep, which does not help enhance and individuals’ well-being. Also, individuals who suffer from Hypersomnolence Disorder tend to have the need to take naps during the day at inappropriate times such as during a meal, at work, in class, or even a social gathering to say the least. Therefore, such disorder disrupts an individuals’ daily life activities and does not allow for them to be productive. Moreover, no matter how much an individual may sleep (i.e. 9 hours or more) they continue to have the need to sleep and do not feel like they have gotten enough rest. As a result, such individuals often experience confusion when they wake up, they may even lose their ability to move, and may even experience combativeness for several minutes or even hours. It is important to note however, that for an individual to be diagnosed with such disorder, symptoms must be present at least three times a week for a set period of time.
It is important to take in mind that such disorder is much more prevalent in people between 17 and 24 years of age with the average age being 21.8. However, it is equally prevalent in both men and women.
What are the symptoms?
- Increase in irritation
- Decrease in energy
- Slow thinking
- Slow speech
- Individuals tend to hallucinate
- Individuals have a hard time remembering things
- Loss in appetite
- Excessive sleepiness, even if they have gotten at least 7 hours of sleep
- Recurrent gradual naps and lapses during the day (more than 1)
- Non-restorative sleep during the night that lasts for more than 9 hours
Are there different degrees and/or stages of Hypersomnolence Disorder?
Yes, there are three categories.
- Acute Hypersomnolence
- Disorder and symptoms last less than 1 month
- Subacute Hypersomnolence
- Disorder and symptoms last between 1 and 3 months
- Persistent Hypersomnolence
- Disorder and symptoms last more than 3 months
What causes Hypersomnolence Disorder?
For some individuals, there is not one known cause, but in others it is believed that other disorders such as Narcolepsy, Sleep Apnea, or dysfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System may play a role in the development of such disorder. Additionally, drug or alcohol abuse may also trigger the disorder and increase the likelihood that there is for an individual to develop it. Moreover, it may result from a tumor, head trauma, injury to the central nervous system, depression, epilepsy, obesity or multiple sclerosis.
What are some of the risk factors that influence and/or trigger Hypersomnolence Disorder?
- Family history with such disorder
- Previous head trauma or viral infection
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Medical history of bipolar disorder, substance abuse, depression, Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s Disease
How can Hypersomnolence Disorder be treated?
- Changes in diet and behavior (i.e. avoiding night work & social activities)
How can someone with Hypersomnolence Disorder help themselves?
- Stay active
- Avoid alcohol
- Track your sleeping patterns & set a schedule (be consistent)