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FAST FACTS: Signs and symptoms of hypersomnolence

…daytime fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, hypersomnolence, nodding off during the day, feeling tired all the time, narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia…

Hypersomnolence refers to ongoing feelings of sleepiness during the day even though you are otherwise perfectly healthy and have had adequate sleep at night.

(Note: If you have trouble staying awake during the day but you have other health issues, untreated sleep problems, or use certain medications, then your sleepiness has different origins and is, therefore, not hypersomnolence, in and of itself.)

Whatever words you use to describe the experience of feeling sleepy during the day, the most important thing to recognize is that, while a little dip in energy after a meal is one thing, major sleepiness throughout wakeful periods is not normal.

Aside from feeling sleepy, here are some other signs you may have hypersomnolence.

The symptoms of hypersomnolence

  • More or frequent motor vehicle accidents(often, “fender benders” or problems with judgment while driving)

  • Depression (mild to severe)

  • Trouble waking up in the morning even after a full night of rest

  • A compelling need to nap during the day, yet upon awakening, you remain unrefreshed

  • Experiencing “micro sleeps” (quick nods of just a few seconds)

  • New-found anxiety, restlessness, or irritability

  • Sluggish energy levels

  • Slowness in thought or speech

  • Poor appetite

  • Memory loss

  • Concerns about hallucinations or having trouble separating reality from daydreaming (disorientation)

Any of these symptoms can point to an underlying concern (for instance, sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome ) that should be checked out. Please take these symptoms seriously and ask your doctor about them. They can refer you to a sleep specialist to rule out previously undetected sleep problems which, in nearly every situation, are treatable.

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