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Hypersomnia

What is Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is considered excessive daytime sleepiness with normal or longer amounts of sleep at night. During the daytime, your child may nap more often and sleep longer. Even if your child sleeps enough during the night and with the extra naps, he or she may not feel rested. It can be difficult for your child to wake up.  

What causes Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia can be the main sleep condition, or can be caused by other medical issues including:

  • certain medications
  • brain injury
  • other sleep disorders
  • drugs or alcohol
  • depression

When Hypersomnia has no known cause it is known as Idiopathic Hypersomnia.

What are the signs of Hypersomnia?

  • Excessive drowsiness or sleepiness during the day
  • Difficulty waking from long sleep episodes
  • Needing to nap at inconvenient times
  • Unable to participate in usual interests and activities

How is it diagnosed?

Your child will come to the sleep center and discuss signs and symptoms with a sleep specialist. This could include an overnight sleep study called a Polysomnogram to look for another common diagnosis called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. You and your child will also need to stay most of the next day for a daytime nap study called a Multiple Sleep Latency Test. Several planned naps are required to review the degree of the daytime sleepiness during the daytime nap study.

How should I care for my child?

The goal is to assist your child in returning to a normal alertness level during the day and improving the overall quality of life. Once diagnosed, your child’s provider will discuss ways to improve daytime sleepiness by reviewing the amount of adequate sleep at night on a regular basis. You’ll discuss changes to your child’s sleep behavior, including limiting the use of electronics before bed, avoiding caffeinated products after 2:00 p.m. and keeping a regular sleep and awake schedule 7 days and 7 nights a week.

Your provider may prescribe a medicine to help with daytime sleepiness and help your child feel alert during the day.

Questions?

This information is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic.

Last reviewed 2/2020

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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