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Hypersomnia: Top Five Symptoms

Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010 04:27 PM

Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that usually affects either adolescents or young adults. Hypersomnolence may occur either due to a genetic predisposition or in combination with another health condition. Idiopathic hypersomnia is a form of hypersomnia that has no known cause. Certain medications or withdrawal from them can also cause hypersomnia.

Hypersomnolence may also occur due to other serious medical conditions that tire the body out completely. Some of these medical problems that can lead to hypersomnia include multiple sclerosis, depression, encephalitis, epilepsy, and obesity.

The top five signs of hypersomnia are:

Prolonged sleep: One of the most prominent hypersomnia symptoms is prolonged sleep at night. Even after a good night’s sleep, people who suffer from hypersomnia have a tough time getting up. Even a small reduction in sleep time causes disorientation. Apart from excess sleeping at night (10 hours or more), patients tend to have repetitive episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness. This poses a problem at work when they have meetings or lunches, as they tend to fall asleep during any kind of activity and work. The disorder cannot be dealt with by just offering the person the option of a quick nap because that offers them no relief. Treatment and medication is needed to help people cope with the problem of hypersomnolence.

Slow thinking and slow speech:
These two associated symptoms are a direct consequence of each other. Constant sleepiness leads to impaired thinking. This, in turn, causes slow speech. Idiopathic hypersomnia is very different from the normal feelings of tiredness that many of us experience occasionally either due to a lack of sufficient sleep or interrupted sleep at night.

Disturbed and abnormal sleep cycles cause a lot of anxiety. Patients afflicted with hypersomnia also exhibit excessive irritability. They tend to be constantly irritable and may lose their temper over the smallest possible issues. These abnormal sleep patterns affect their personality and behavior. Anxiety is one of the symptoms of hypersomnia  that indicates a very serious sleeping disorder.

Loss of appetite:
Patients with hypersomnia may also experience loss of appetite over a prolonged period of time. Idiopathic hypersomnia can also occur in combination with other sleeping disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. As a result, not only the autonomic nervous system, but also the digestive system may be affected, resulting in a subsequent loss of appetite. Idiopathic hypersomnia may also occur as a side effect of drug and alcohol abuse.

Increased irritation, prolonged anxiety, decreased energy, and memory loss that may occur in combination with slow thinking and slow speech can eventually result in hallucinations. Hallucinations are one of the top five symptoms of hypersomnia. This symptom is observed in patients where the severity and the intensity of the problem of hypersomnia necessitates constant medical attention and supervision.

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