Hypersomnia is a condition wherein the person affected feels fatigued all throughout the day even after a long stretch of sleep. The condition is characterised by excessive sleepiness during the daytime and prolonged sleepiness during night time. Hypersomnia can be caused due to other sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy or autonomic nervous system dysfunction, alcohol or drug abuse. Hypersomnia can also occur due to certain physical problems like head trauma, tumour or central nervous system injury; some the condition occurs due to certain medications or even as a withdrawal symptom of medication and sometimes hypersomnia can result due to a genetic predisposition too. Treatment options for hypersomnia can vary depending upon the cause of the condition. There are drugs used for treating narcolepsy which can also be used for treating hypersomnia sometimes. Doctors also advise patients to maintain a sleep hygiene and also to adopt some behavioural therapies and education in the treatment regimen to improve their sleep habits. Physicians also use antidepressants and several newer medications for treatment of hypersomnia. Apart from medications changes in sleep habits like going to bed at a particular time every day and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help you feel better.
Hypersomnia can result either due to other sleep disorders like sleep apnea or narcolepsy or due to central or autonomic nervous system dysfunction or may be for any unknown reason. The condition can be treated with drugs which can be stimulants as wells as antidepressants. The stimulants are amphetamine, methylphenidate (Metadate Er, Concerta, Methylin, Ritalin-SR, Ritalin LA, Ritalin, Metadate CD), modafinil (Provigil) etc. other drugs for treating hypersomnia are levodopa (Larodopa), antidepressants, clonidine (Catapres), bromocriptine (Parlodel) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The stimulant drugs help you feel more awake during the daytime and keep you energetic. In case your hypersomnia is due to the condition sleep apnea, your doctor can prescribe you a treatment option called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) wherein you are made to wear a mask that covers your nose while sleeping which enables a continuous air flow through the nostrils.
People affected with hypersomnia show symptoms of excessive sleepiness not only during the night but also throughout the day. Patients who are eligible for treatment for hypersomnia have difficulty waking from sleep, continue feeling tired, drunken, confused and disoriented.
Daily wage workers or workers at night shifts who tend to sleep during the day time are not eligible for hypersomnia treatment, also when you experience conditions like jet lag after an extensive flight journey and get disturbed sleep timing can also not be eligible for hypersomnia treatment because the condition is a short term.
Drugs like levodopa, clonidine, amphetamine, antidepressants or alike can cause severe side effects like drowsiness, nausea, insomnia, confusion and blurred vision, dizziness, agitation, anxiety, irritability, loss of sexual desire, muscle spasms and stiffness, painful urination, nervousness, constipation, dry mouth, weird dreams, loss of appetite, constipation, headache, si rashes, dry eyes, feeling tired and so on. The stimulant modafinil also causes side effects like headaches, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, upper respiratory tract infection etc. it may also have some serious side effects like hallucinations, chest pain, fever, palpitations, mood changes, hallucinations, easy bleeding or bruising etc.
Even after treatment doctors may advise you to adopt better lifestyle and sleeping habits, cut on alcohol, caffeine and drug consumption and include nutrition rich diet for maintaining energy levels.
To recover from a hypersomnia it may take longer or shorter duration depending upon the gravity of the condition.
The cost of treatment including consultation fees and medication ranges from Rs. 250 to rs. 2,000.
The treatment with medication and drugs can be permanent only if it is followed with some behavioural changes too. The condition is more dependent on the behaviour than just medication and drug treatment. Hence, to make the results permanent or even long lasting, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle.