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Do you struggle to sleep throughout the night or find yourself waking up after a “long night’s rest” and still feel exhausted? During the day, do waves of extreme sleepiness come over you making it difficult to concentrate or think clearly? If so, it may be time to consider bringing your symptoms up to your doctor and visiting a sleep specialist as you may be suffering from a sleep disorder such as hypersomnia.


What is Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to sleep causing them to feel extremely tiredslee or fatigued despite having a full night’s rest. People who suffer from hypersomnia can sleep over eleven hours a day or more and still wake up feeling tired and in need of more sleep.

The amount of sleep needed for each person varies. Some people may need nine hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed while others will be fine with seven. However, people with hypersomnia can sleep over half the day and remain exhausted. Causes of hypersomnia can vary and even be due to other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, movement disorders throughout the night, or certain medications.



Patients may find themselves needing several naps throughout the day, feeling irritable and suffering from mood swings, having memory loss or fogginess, or experiencing the inability to concentrate or think clearly. Difficulty remaining awake throughout the day or trouble sleeping throughout the night are other common symptoms. Hypersomnia can even cause people to struggle to awaken from sleep.

Hypersomnia can be found in both adults and children, though children often are misdiagnosed. It can be difficult for children to accurately describe their symptoms as young children often take naps as they grow. Pediatric patients are also often misdiagnosed with attention disorders such as ADHD as they share similar symptoms of difficulty focusing or paying attention, mood swings, and irritability. In older children, symptoms can be overlooked as laziness or lack of motivation. It is important to note any symptoms or changes in your child to your doctor if you suspect they may be suffering from a sleep disorder.



After a sleep specialist rules out other conditions and diagnoses you with hypersomnia, a sleep treatment plan can be made specifically for you. Some treatment plans may include medication or devices to help you feel rested when you sleep and keep you from becoming restless throughout the night.

If you suspect you may be experiencing signs of excessive sleepiness or any of the symptoms described above, speak with your doctor to consult with a sleep specialist. For more information on hypersomnia, contact our office today.

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