What is excessive sleepiness?
Excessive sleepiness, also known as hypersomnia, causes you to feel excessively sleepy during the day. Hypersomnia literally means “a lot of sleep”. Someone with hypersomnia has a constant need to go to sleep, even though they often have a normal sleep pattern at night. The severity of the symptoms can vary from moderate sleepiness, for example after eating or during monotonous activities to just falling asleep during daily activities, in traffic or during work.
What are the consequences?
Excessive sleepiness over a longer period impedes daily functioning. It can lead to an increased risk of an accident at home, at work or in traffic. Someone feels lifeless and without energy and therefore has a lesser quality of life. It can also lead to memory loss.
What are the causes?
Hypersomnia can be the result of another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. It can also be the result of medication such as painkillers or sleep medication. It is also more common with some neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. But the cause of hypersomnia is not always clear. It could also be due to a disruption of neurotransmitters, but the underlying cause is not always clear.
How is the diagnosis made?
Neurologists who specialize in hypersomnia work at the Ruysdael Slaapkliniek. The diagnosis is made on the basis of the patient’s typical complaints, sleep tests and possibly blood tests.
Can hypersomnia be corrected?
If the underlying cause is clear, hypersomnia can be treated.