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What is hypersomnia: cause, types, and symptoms

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Hypersomnia (pathologically increased daytime sleepiness) is defined as a condition characterized by an inability to maintain adequate levels of wakefulness throughout the day, accompanied by episodes of uncontrollable need for sleep, leading to unintentional falling asleep.

Sleep disorder is a serious problem for modern people, negatively affecting the physical and psychological state of the body. It is one of the most common problems globally; it affects 8-15% of people of working age, most of whom are forced to take sleeping pills.

Asleep disorder in an adult can be caused by one or a whole range of reasons, from emotional overstrain and chronic alcoholism to several medical problems. It manifests itself in people of all ages and social groups, but the problem only worsens with age. Therefore, when it is detected, it is necessary to seek professional medical help immediately; the doctor will conduct an initial diagnosis, determine the root cause of the problem and prescribe an adequate treatment regimen. At our Lone Star Neurology clinic, the doctors with extensive experience are ready to help you. Do not postpone the appointment, contact us to avoid complications.

types of hypersomnia


Types of Hypersomnia

The etiological principle is used to classify hypersomnia. By the type of course, permanent and paroxysmal hypersomnia are classified. With the first, there is constant drowsiness or drowsiness during the day; with the second, there will be sharp insurmountable bouts of drowsiness, often forcing to fall asleep in inappropriate places. Treatment for hypersomnia diagnosed directly depends on its manifestation and type of disorder. Depending on the root cause, the disorder is usually divided into:

  • hypersomnia (psychophysiological). It affects healthy people who experience regular stress and lack of sleep.
  • Pathological hypersomnia. Nervous disorders and sleep disturbances cause it.
  • Narcolepsy. These are imperative cases of dreaming during the day. Characterized by restless sleep and feeling sleepy, it is a chronic disorder.
  • Post-traumatic hypersomnia – caused by various injuries.
  • Medicinal hypersomnia. Provoked by taking drugs that cause drowsiness.
  • Iatrogenic hypersomnia. It is caused by certain drugs: beta-blockers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, etc.
  • Psychiatric hypersomnia. Mental disorders cause it.
  • Kleine-Levin syndrome. Hypersomnia occurs in episodes, accompanied by a growing feeling of hunger.   

Idiopathic and psychophysiological hypersomnia

Idiopathic hypersomnia

Sometimes hypersomnia can develop without a known cause; this condition is called idiopathic hypersomnia. Idiopathic hypersomnia is currently regarded as a heterogeneous disease, the pathophysiology of which is not yet known. The average age of disease onset in different populations ranges from 16.6 to 21.2 years. Women get sick slightly more often. There is a familial predisposition to the development of this disease. After the onset of the main symptoms, the disease, as a rule, proceeds without pronounced fluctuations for a long time. However, spontaneous remissions are noted in 14-25% of cases. Complications are observed mainly in the social and professional spheres; working capacity, academic performance, social status decrease, and job loss are possible.

Psychophysiological hypersomnia

Hypersomnolence can be observed in practically healthy individuals with psychophysiological hypersomnia. A good night’s sleep characterizes this disorder with insufficient duration and attempt by complaints of daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation, complaints of the asthenic circle. The causes of increased daytime sleepiness can be various stresses, a lack of sleep at night, and an increased need for sleep.


Signs and Symptoms of Hypersomnia

The main symptoms of excessive sleepiness include:

  • An increase in sleep duration at night. According to scientific research, the optimal amount of sleep for a healthy adult is 7 to 8 hours a night. The length of time a child sleeps varies by age from 16 to 10 hours a day.
  • Sleepiness during the day, difficulty doing repetitive work. Difficulty completing tasks or maintaining a work rhythm at school or work.
  • A constant feeling of sleepiness, difficulty waking up in the morning, occasional headaches, and weakness.

In contrast to states of increased fatigue, increased daytime sleepiness is not eliminated by increasing sleep duration.

With hypersomnia, the risk of death or serious injury from road traffic accidents or industrial accidents is significantly increased. People with severe hypersomnolence sometimes do not realize that they fall asleep at the wrong time. Road traffic accidents can be attributed to blackouts or seizures. The impairment of labor productivity can be associated with a decrease in memory.

In conditions such as sleep apnea or periodic limb movements, patients can wake up several dozen times per night. Their total sleep duration decreases, the structure of sleep stages is disturbed, but at the same time, they can tell the doctor that they fall asleep quickly and soundly every night sleep without waking up or waking up rarely.

causes of hypersomnia


Causes of Hypersomnia

This disease can have different causes, but it is essential to consider the symptoms and see a doctor. Here are the main reasons that can affect the appearance of excessive sleepiness:

  • Depression. In adolescents and young adults, excessive sleepiness can be a sign of depression. Approximately 40% of young people under 30 suffering from depression are diagnosed with hypersomnia. But older people can also experience hypersomnolence during the depression, especially women. It is important to remember that in people with depression, sleep disturbances can take many forms; for example, patients can suffer from both insomnia and hypersomnia at the same time. Studies show that this occurs in 27% of cases, usually with severe depression when people are attempting suicide and are prone to addiction.
  • Use of psychotropic substances. Alcohol and drugs can interfere with circadian rhythms, reduce sleep quality, and make you tired during the day.
  • Neurological diseases include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and brain damage. Hypersomnias in mental disorders account for 5–7% of all hypersomnias. More often, women suffer from it. The typical age for developing this condition is between 20 and 50 years.
  • Some medications. Sedation and excessive sleepiness are common side effects of many drugs used in medical practice, including various hypnotics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, antidepressants, etc. Drowsiness can also occur while taking dopamine agonists, in more rare cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, some antibiotics, antispasmodics, antiarrhythmics, etc. The most susceptible to the development of hypersomnolence is elderly, suffering from comorbid diseases and forced to take a large number of drugs in various combinations. The diagnosis is confirmed if symptoms improve after stopping the drug that causes drowsiness. The diagnosis also includes hypersomnia that occurs in the background of discontinuation of psychostimulants, amphetamines, and other similar substances.
  • Head trauma, tumors, and brain damage. Children with certain brain tumors such as craniopharyngioma are highly likely to develop hypersomnia. These tumors develop near the hypothalamus, a structure in the brain that regulates sleep.

If you suspect the symptoms of hypersomnia, you should see a doctor. Contact us to avoid complications.



  • What disease causes a feeling of intense sleepiness during the day?

This symptom causes hypersomnia. To find out for sure, consult a doctor who will diagnose and diagnose.

  • What causes hypersomnolence disorder?

Many factors influence the appearance of hypersomnia. Among these factors are various sleep disorders, sleep apnea, frequent lack of sleep, overweight, etc.

  • Is hypersomnia a mental illness?

Hypersomnia is very often associated with mood disorders. The patient often wants to sleep; this desire can be caused by the stress suffered.

  • Why do I sleep a lot but still don’t get enough sleep?

This type of sleep disturbance can be caused by hypersomnia. Sleeping more than 7-8 hours a day can be a serious symptom.

  • Is hypersomnolence the same as narcolepsy?

They may have similar symptoms, but they are treated differently. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that can cause sudden sleep attacks.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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