Hypersomnia: What causes it?

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Hypersomnia: What causes it?


What causes hypersomnia?

No name
No state given


Hypersomnia is characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged nighttime sleep. People with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times, despite getting adequate sleep. Hypersomnia has many potential causes, including:

  • Sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea
  • Central autonomic nervous system dysfunction
  • Side effect of medication
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Brain tumor
  • Head injury
  • Kleine-Levin syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes recurring periods of excessive sleeping, binge eating, irritability, disorientation and hypersensitivity to noise

In addition, certain medical conditions can contribute to hypersomnia, including multiple sclerosis, depression, encephalitis and epilepsy. Sometimes the cause of hypersomnia can't be determined. Doctors refer to this as idiopathic hypersomnia.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of hypersomnia.

Last Updated: 12/29/2006
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