How is mental health affected by hypersomnia, know its causes and remedies
While talking about sleeping and waking disorders, insomnia has always taken the centre stage, which leaves less room for the condition of hypersomnia to be studied and discussed. Hypersomnia is a condition where the individual suffering from the disorder struggles to keep their eyes open, prefers to stay in the bed, and feels sleepy all the time. It leaves one unable to be alert during the daytime despite achieving the ideal and sound sleep time the previous night. This causes difficulties in their academic, occupational, personal and social life.
The researchers mentioned that it is prevalent from 4% to 6% and can be seen in adolescents and young adults. It also appears to be prevalent more among men than women. The etiology still remains a mystery, while the research continues to bet its money on certain genes affecting the circadian rhythm and causing all the trouble. The sufferers also differ from each other in the presentation of this condition.
Hypersomnia patients sleep excessively during the daytime or remain sleepily unable to spend time with their loved ones, are unable to concentrate on subjects and fail to finish the assignments or score well in their assessments, unable to dedicate themselves to the tasks in their workplace, and also unable to socialize among their community. The excessive amount of yawning also can be seen. It leaves them with considerably large amounts of gaps in memory, feeling grumpy, irritable, and restless all the time. They also struggle to think and form actions. It tends to cause problems in personal relationships, resulting in poor academic performance and increase mishaps in the workplace or accidents on the roads.
The clinical classifications of hypersomnia are as follows:
- Narcolepsy: Inability to normally regulate cycles of sleep and wakefulness
- Idiopathic hypersomnia: A combination of long hours of sleep during the night and non-REM sleep during the day
- Recurrent hypersomnia: Prolonged episodes of sleep continuing up to days or weeks
- Insufficient sleep syndrome: Excessive daytime sleepiness due to insufficient sleep the previous night
- Medication and toxin-dependent sleepiness: Excessive daytime sleepiness due to drugs
- Hypersomnia associated with psychiatric disorders: Excessive daytime sleepiness due to mood or psychotic disorders
- Hypersomnia associated with neurological disorders: Excessive daytime sleepiness due to brain injury or stroke
- Post-traumatic hypersomnia: Excessive daytime sleepiness and prolonged hours of nigh-time sleep due to head trauma
The clinician prefers to ask questions to the patients and their families about their sleep patterns, the troubles they face, their food habits, and their lifestyle choices. The duration of both daytime and night-time sleep is noted along with their episodes of sleepiness and naps. It can be found mostly that excessive sleeping doesn’t refresh or recuperate them instead leave them exhausted and tired. The quality of sleep is also deemed important while analyzing the quantity of sleep.
The patients are advised to maintain a sleep journal noting down the number of sleepiness episodes, duration of sleep, and the time they slept and woke up. One can also present their data in weekly and monthly patterns of sleep. They also could assess themselves using self-report questionnaires such as Stanford Sleepiness Scale and Epworth Sleepiness scale, and rate them on the hypersomnia scale. The clinicians admit the patients to sleep labs, assess their brain waves using electroencephalogram (EEG), eye movements using electrooculogram (EOG), muscle tension using electromyogram (EMG), and functioning of the heart using electrocardiogram (ECG). They also examine the clients’ movement of legs and breathing patterns. This is taken for both diurnal and nocturnal periods of sleep. One effective technique followed by clinicians is polysomnography distinguishing the duration of sleep into wakefulness, REM (Rapid Eye Movement), and non-REM stages of sleep. Other tests include the Multiple Sleep Latency test (MSLT), Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT), and psychomotor tests to analyze daytime sleepiness, wakefulness, and decrements in performance due to sleepiness respectively.