While insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is often talked about, hypersomnia is not so commonly mentioned although it affects approximately 5% of the global population. However, this disorder is the reason why a lot of people have been losing their jobs because of being unable to stay awake and focused on their daily tasks.

If you haven't figured it out, hypersomnia is the opposite of insomnia. Insomnia makes you lose sleep, while hypersomnia makes you sleep too much. But apart from excessive daily sleepiness that comes along with this sleeping disorder, are there other signs that could reveal the presence of it?

Today, we'll let you know how hypersomnia looks like.

What's Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia represents a sleeping disorder in which an individual suffers from excessive sleepiness and experiences an immense difficulty staying awake throughout the day. However, the feeling of sleepiness doesn't come from being sleep deprived. In fact, apart excessive daytime sleepiness and the need to have several naps during the day, the main symptom of this condition is the prolonged nighttime sleep.

Although it doesn't sound as troubling as insomnia, hypersomnia can affect a person's quality of life in multiple ways. This condition causes an individual to fall asleep at any time, which means you could fall asleep while driving, working, eating at a restaurant.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypersomnia?

If you have been overly tired lately and been needing naps more often than usual, it might be that you have simply changed something in your daily routine, started exercising or had a stressful week. These are all reasons why one can crave more sleep all of a sudden.

However, if you're experiencing these things for a while now, maybe it would be wise to consult a sleeping specialist:

  • Constant, Frequent Episodes Of Uncontrollable Sleepiness
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Fatigue
  • Waking Up Tired Even After A Night Of Prolonged Sleep
  • Difficulty Focusing And Learning New Things
  • Craving Carbs And Increased Appetite

Recognize most of these symptoms? Don't panic, according to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 40% of the population has experienced symptoms of hypersomnia from time to time.

What Causes Hypersomnia?

But how does one come to a stage where you almost can't control yourself not to fall asleep? What makes you want to fall asleep at your office desk? Well, just like with insomnia, causes of this sleeping condition could be multiple:

  • Narcolepsy - daytime sleepiness
  • Sleep Apnea - breathing interruption during sleep
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Obesity
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Head Injury
  • Neurological Disease Such As Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson's Disease
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Depression
  • Genetics

How To Treat Hypersomnia?

Basically, hypersomnia will only be the result of the other health or mental condition causing the excessive daytime sleepiness. This is why the treatment of hypersomnia relies on curing the condition or problem that initially created the need to crave sleep during times one should be awake and alert.

While some of these causes are a bit more difficult to cure and require more time, patience and even several different approaches before being completely eliminated, others might only require slight changes in your lifestyle. For instance, you could avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine or nicotine, or you could simply ask your doctor to change your prescription medication that is making you feel drowsy.

If you're waking up tired each morning and have more than 50 years of age, chances are you are suffering from interrupted breathing during sleep, AKA Sleep apnea. The inability to breath normally is blocking your body's recovery potential at night and is making you feel tired and clumsy throughout the day. In this case, your doctor might prescribe you a CPAP machine that will make sure your airways open at night and help you feel more energized in the morning.

A solution for people that are experiencing hypersomnia symptoms because of depression, might stand in antidepressants or similar medications.

Tips To A Better Sleep

However, there are universal things that can help with just any type of sleeping disorder. In order to make sure you are getting enough and the right kind of sleep during the night, follow these tips.

  • Drink A Lot Of Water - Make sure you are well hydrated at all times. When not well hydrated, our bodies can't reach their optimal functioning.
  • Have A Bedtime Consistency - Go to bed always at the same hour. This way your body will memorize when it's the time to sleep.
  • Expose Yourself To Sunlight - The best thing is to go for morning walks in order to re-balance your circadian rhythm and to let your brain know when it's time to be awake (when the sun is up).
  • Skip Late-Night Technology Usage - It might be hard to do, but watching TV or scrolling on your cellphone are real enemies of proper sleep. These electronic devices keep your brain active when it should slowly relax into the state of sleep.
  • Exercise - A general rule for almost all sleeping disorders is that exercise often helps in regaining healthy sleep. It will help you keep your energy high when needed, and it will make easing to sleep much more pleasant.
Author's Bio: 

Kristina Lalovic is the editor of Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to be the alarm-snoozer for a long time, until she started paying more attention to her sleep and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.