What causes hypersomnia?
Hypersomnia that does not appear to be caused by another medical condition or a medication is referred to as primary hypersomnia. Secondary hypersomnias result from other disorders or medications and include:
- Hypersomnia due to a medical disorder
- Hypersomnia due to a medication or substance
- Hypersomnia associated with a psychiatric disorder
Conditions that contribute to daytime sleepiness can increase the risk of a hypersomnia disorder including Low thyroid function, certain brain conditions, kidney conditions, untreated sleep apnea, and depression. Shift work is linked to an increased risk of hypersomnia.
Sleep specialists use several methods, or a combination of methods, to diagnose hypersomnia. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary or take a multiple sleep latency test, a monitored nap during which your sleep is measured. A polysomnogram, or overnight sleep study measuring heart rate, breathing and brain activity during sleep, might also be used in your diagnosis.
This group of disorders includes narcolepsy, a serious condition affecting an individual’s safety and quality of life. However, some hypersomnias are less severe.