7 Signs You Might Have Hypersomnia
We have all had a day where it felt like every step we took was one closer to falling asleep where we were. Those same people might also like to sleep longer periods of time but are unaware of a problem they may be having.
Idiopathic Hypersomnia is defined as “a sleep disorder in which a person is excessively sleepy during the day and has great difficulty being awakened from sleep.” Here are a few signs and symptoms that mean you may have it:
1. Excessive Sleep
Even after a full recommended 8 to 9 hours of sleep, a person affected by hypersomnia might want to take a nap at some point during the day. Some of us may sleep far longer than the recommended allotment of time, for as many as 10 to 16 hours.
If you find yourself still extremely groggy even after a full night of rest, do not go back to sleep. Instead, try finding an activity that gets your blood pumping and see if that can help fight off the grogginess until you can see a doctor for what’s going on.
I once slept for 14 hours straight myself, but that was after a wedding with 800 guests.
2. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Many times a person will still feel sleepy after what they feel is enough rest. No matter what activity they do or food they eat can help with keeping the sandman at bay.
Signs of daytime sleepiness may not look like your typical symptoms. Your muscles may begin to spasm involuntarily while you are sitting still watching television or eating dinner.
3. Difficulty Waking from Sleep
People are often separated into categories for types of sleepers. Those of us considered “light sleepers” will usually wake at the slightest change in our bedroom environment, be it a change in our fan’s airflow or the amount of light coming in.
People who have trouble being awoken from sleep are often labeled “heavy sleepers” because of how difficult it is to get them to open their eyes. If the five alarms from your phone, blinking lights, and gentle jostling aren’t enough to wake you then it can be another sign of hypersomnia.
Too much difficulty may lead to a preventable disaster, so the more severe this symptom is, the sooner it should be looked at.
4. Sleep Inertia/Drunkenness
“An impaired psychological state after awakening, which usually involves confusion, disorientation, and poor coordination.”
Going from fast asleep to recently awake is not an easy transition for those with this condition. Because this particular set of symptoms so difficult to manage, many people often find returning to sleep an easier option than staying awake.
5. Long, Useless Naps
When a person feeling drowsy, the go-to for most of us is a substantial nap. Even after what you consider a decent amount of rest, you may have felt little to no relief afterward. Oftentimes, those who take regular naps experience sleep drunkenness after almost every nap they take.
As refreshing as they may feel, you could be doing more harm than good with each one.
6. Cognitive Dysfunction
If there is any symptom that is cause for concern, it is this one. A major sign of hypersomnia is something called cognitive dysfunction. It also goes by the more familiar name “brain fog” and is signified by memory problems, automatic behavior, and difficulties with concentration and attention.
You may find it commonplace to forget your wallet at home, your cellphone in your car or god forbid, you left your child waiting outside the sidewalk of their school.
When a person is outwardly aggressive for no reason or they seem a little angrier than usual, their friends and family might suggest a nap may change their attitude. While not getting enough sleep is guaranteed to make a person edgy, the same can be said of too much sleep as well.
It is important to get a diagnosis from your primary care provider before reading this convinces anyone they definitely have hypersomnia. You will symptoms will be rated on the Epworth Sleepiness before you are recommended to participate in a sleep study.
Symptoms must also be recurrent for a consecutive 3 months.
The “idiopathic” is given to the condition because it hypersomnia has no clear cause, as research is still being conducted.