Introduction to Hypersomnia
Hypersomnia, or excessive sleepiness, is a condition in which a person has trouble staying awake during the day. People who have hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time; for instance, at work or while they are driving. They may also have other sleep-related problems, including a lack of energy and trouble thinking clearly.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 40% of people have some symptoms of hypersomnia from time to time.
What Causes Hypersomnia?
There are several potential causes of hypersomnia, including:
- The sleep disorders narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness) and sleep apnea (interruptions of breathing during sleep)
- Not getting enough sleep at night (sleep deprivation)
- Being overweight
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- A head injury or a neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis
- Prescription drugs, such as tranquilizers
- Genetics (having a relative with hypersomnia)
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