Hypersomnia: What causes it?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Hypersomnia: What causes it?

Question

What causes hypersomnia?

No name
No state given

Answer

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
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use

 

Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version