Hypersomnia – What Is It, What Are Its Causes & Symptoms?

A lot of us know what is insomnia, but only a few know or heard about hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a group of sleep disorders manifested by excessive daytime sleepiness. This type of disease is characterized by uncontrolled falling asleep during the day in any situation and can be very dangerous.

Hypersomnia is not getting much attention and is undervalued by many because people mistakenly consider it to be a result of great tiredness or fatigue. In this article, we will talk about what is hypersomnia, what are its causes and symptoms.


What is Hypersomnia

As already said, hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that is manifested by excessive daytime sleepiness. People suffering from hypersomnia usually fall asleep during normal daily activities and not only is it dangerous, but it also limits their overall performance, daily life, and personal relationships. The greatest risk is when a person suffering from hypersomnia sits behind the wheel or works with dangerous machines.

It is not appropriate for the affected person to perform actions that require constant attention. A person suffering from hypersomnia can fall asleep in virtually any activity, even while writing, spending time with friends at the bar, in a swimming pool or during an interview.

It is believed that 4-6% of people suffer from this disorder. However, this number is only figurative; the exact percentage is not known because there are many people who suffer from hypersomnia but do not know about it or have not discussed it with their doctor. Hypersomnia is very often confused with fatigue or tiredness, but its origin is very diverse.

Causes of Hypersomnia

The causes of hypersomnia are not precisely known, however, it is believed that it causes damage to the part of the brain that affects sleep. Other causes include dementia, trauma, the use of some addictive substances, or sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Hypersomnia

In addition to excessive daily sleep (more than 12 hours a day), there are several symptoms that should be noted:

  • uncontrolled and compulsive bouts of sleep
  • loss of appetite
  • concentration and memory problems
  • irritability
  • a sense of “inner emptiness”

It is not always easy to determine exactly what is happening and whether you suffer from hypersomnia or other health problem. Many individuals may think that they are too tired without being entirely sure of the reason or that they didn’t have much sleep at night and have to “make up” for the hours of sleep during the day.

The fact is that if we do not have enough sleep at night, we are tired during the day and have a need to sleep, but this condition can easily be distinguished from hypersomnia. However, if we have an uncontrollable need to sleep very often, or even fall asleep during normal daily activity without our knowledge, it is not just fatigue but something more serious.


If you think that you or someone in your close circle suffers from hypersomnia, it’s very important to consult with a specialist. The consequences of hypersomnia can be very severe, so it is good to pay attention to any abnormalities related to sleep.