How to deal with excessive sleepiness throughout the day

Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness during the day. This condition causes a person to find it difficult to wake up when falling asleep at night or during the day.


Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness during the day. This condition causes a person to find it difficult to wake up when falling asleep at night or during the day. A person who has hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time, including when driving a vehicle or working. So it is potentially dangerous for the sufferer. In addition, hypersomnia can cause a person to lack energy, difficulty concentrating, disturbances in activities, and a significant decrease in cognitive function due to drowsiness.

The American Sleep Association estimates that 40% of Americans experience excessive sleepiness and that it is a common symptom. In someone who has hypersomnia, symptoms that can be caused include:

  • Often falls asleep during the day and doesn't feel refreshed afterwards
  • Falls asleep suddenly, often while eating or talking
  • Stay asleep for a long time at night
  • Feeling weak
  • Emotional disturbances or irritability
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty thinking or speaking
  • Foggy mind
  • Difficulty remembering simple things
  • Restless or unable to stay still.

Hypersomnia is divided into two types, namely primary and secondary hypersomnia. Primary hypersomnia can occur by itself can occur by itself where there are no other factors that cause excessive sleepiness. Meanwhile, hypersomnia caused by certain health conditions is known as secondary hypersomnia.

Primary hypersomnia is caused by the function of the central nervous system in regulating the time to be awake and asleep. The main symptom of primary hypersomnia is feeling sleepy during the day even though you have enough sleep at night. Primary hypersomnia has very similar symptoms to sleep attacks or narcolepsy. However, they are two different conditions. In addition, hypersomnia does not show symptoms of sudden sleep as occurs in people with narcolepsy.

Secondary hypersomnia is more likely to be caused by feeling tired due to lack of sleep, having sleep disorders, having a history of chronic disease, consuming alcohol and certain drugs.


Primary hypersomnia tends to be rarer than secondary hypersomnia. Sleepiness without a cause can be caused by environmental or hereditary factors, but it is possible that it is caused by rare genetic diseases such as myotonic dystrophy, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Norrie disease.

Generally, hypersomnia develops over a period of weeks to months. In addition, when compared with women, men are more likely to experience hypersomnia. Hypersomnia can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy (drowsiness during the day) and sleep apnea (interruption of breathing during sleep)
  • Not getting enough sleep at night (sleep deprivation)
  • Have excess weight
  • Use of certain drugs
  • Head injury or the presence of neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis
  • Genetic factors
  • Alcohol or drug abuse, narcolepsy, etc.
  • Experiencing various sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea
  • Overweight
  • Smoking and regular alcohol consumption
  • Using narcotic drugs
  • Using sedatives and antihistamines
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Hereditary factors, there are relatives or families who tend to hypersomnia
  • Experiencing restless leg syndrome
  • Experiencing depression
  • Having epilepsy
  • History of multiple sclerosis
  • Having kidney disease
  • History of injury to the nervous system, especially head trauma
  • History of hypothyroidism



Hypersomnia may also be associated with disorders of the central nervous system that tend to be difficult to identify, such as brain tumors, disorders of the hypothalamus and brain stem. In addition, diseases that occur in old age such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's also have symptoms of excessive sleepiness.

To determine the diagnosis of hypersomnia, the doctor will evaluate the signs and symptoms experienced, look at your medical and family history, check the medications you are taking and perform a physical examination. In addition, several tests are also carried out to diagnose hypersomnia, namely:

  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale or Epworth Sleepiness Scale

The doctor will ask the patient to rate the drowsiness experienced, to determine how daily life is affected by sleep patterns.

  • Sleep diary or sleep schedule

The doctor may ask the patient to keep a sleep schedule, in which the patient documents the hours of sleep and waking hours to show the duration and pattern of daily sleep.

  • Polysomnogram

In this examination, the patient is able to stay in the sleep research center for one night. A polysomnogram monitors brain activity, eye movement, leg movement, heart rate, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels during sleep.


  • Multiple sleep latency test or multiple sleep latency test

This test measures sleepiness and the type and degree of sleep experienced during a nap. This examination is generally carried out the day after the polysomnogram

  • Physical tests to check alertness


Hypersomnia can be treated based on the cause of hypersomnia. Secondary hypersomnia is treated by eliminating the condition or disease that causes hypersomnia. The use of stimulant drugs such as Waklert (among others Waklert 150), Artvigil (among others Artvigil 150) is also used to reduce drowsiness and help stay awake. Lifestyle changes are important in the coping process, one of which is by establishing a regular sleep schedule. Apply sleep hygiene patterns by avoiding activities that can reduce the quality of your sleep when it comes to bedtime. And create a bedroom that is comfortable and safe for sleeping such as using a pillow and keeping sources of distraction away.

Individuals who experience hypersomnia are also advised to stop smoking and alcohol consumption and consume a balanced diet to maintain metabolism and energy levels, exercise regularly, and go to bed early. Most hypersomnia conditions can be resolved with lifestyle changes.

If it doesn't work, it is recommended to take certain drugs, such as, Artvigil.

Several methods are also believed to be able to help reduce daytime sleepiness, for example by setting a sleep schedule, ensuring that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and ensure that your sleeping environment is a dark, quiet, and cool place. In addition, doctors usually treat hypersomnia problems by relieving the signs and symptoms that arise. Certain stimulant medications may be prescribed by a doctor, such as the use of Waklert 150, and Artvigil 150 to help the body stay awake during the day when deemed necessary. Doctors also recommend establishing a regular nightly sleep pattern and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and certain drugs that can affect sleep patterns. Symptoms of sleeping during the day, especially at work, can be reduced in several ways

  • Not sitting too long
  • Sitting too long in the same position will make you sleepy.
  • Not eating too much lunch
  • Keep the workspace bright
  • Listening to cheerful music
  • Washing face
  • Keeping busy during working hours
  • Occasionally chat with friends
  • Do stretches
  • Drink water
  • Take a deep breath
  • Inhale the pungent-scented oil


Doing ways to reduce sleepiness on a regular basis after adequate rest is an effective step to reduce symptoms of hypersomnia.


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