All you need to know about the cause, signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Hypersomnia
Hypersomnia is a condition that causes excessive sleepiness during the day or excessive time spent sleeping. People with hypersomnia have trouble staying awake during the day, even after long stretches of sleep during the night. They have difficulty functioning during the day because their attention, concentration, and energy level are impaired and affected. The need to sleep can occur at any time, including at work or while driving making the condition potentially dangerous. Also, the lack of attention and concentration in people whose jobs request high levels of attention for example in the health care field. Hypersomnia can be primary or secondary while primary hypersomnia occurs with no other medical conditions present secondary. Hypersomnia is due to other medical conditions. Primary hypersomnia is less common than secondary hypersomnia.
Insufficient sleep obstructive sleep apnea obesity muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy a sleep disorder, a head injury, myasthenia grabbis. Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, and depression. Prescription or over-the-counter drugs, such as tranquillizers or antihistamines.
Excessive fatigue, loss of appetite, low energy, irritability, restlessness, slow thinking or speech forgetfulness.
Diagnosis and treatment
To make a diagnosis the doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam can test for alertness. The doctor might order several tests to diagnose your condition, determine the cause, and rule out other medical conditions. They include.
Sleep diary- The doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary where you record sleep and wake times through the night to help track sleep amounts and patterns.
Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS)- It is a scale that is intended to measure daytime sleepiness by use of a very short questionnaire. The doctor may ask you to rate your sleepiness with this tool to determine the severity of your condition.
Multiple sleep latency tests- In this test, you take a monitored nap during the day to measure your sleepiness and the type of sleep you experience.
Polysomnogram- In this test, you stay at a sleep center overnight, a machine a polysomnogram monitors your brain activity, eye movements, leg movements, heart rate, breathing functions, and oxygen level as you sleep.
There are several treatments that may improve quality of life, depending on the specific cause or causes of hypersomnia.
Prescription medications, including methylphenidate, and amphetamine are stimulants that will help you stay awake during the day. Lifestyle changes are also included in the treatment process. The doctor may recommend: getting on a regular sleeping schedule. Avoiding certain activities, especially working late into the night. Taking a high-nutrition diet to maintain energy levels naturally and avoiding alcohol and drugs that can affect sleep.