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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the leading federal funder of research on sleep disorders and operates the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR).

What is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia refers to medical conditions in which you repeatedly feel excessively tired during the day (called excessive daytime sleepiness) or sleep longer than usual at night. It is different from feeling tired due to lack of or interrupted sleep at night. If you have hypersomnia, you might fall asleep repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work or during a meal. These daytime naps usually provide no relief from symptoms. Hypersomnia can occur on its own or be caused by:

  • Another sleep disorder (such as insomnia or sleep apnea)
  • Another medical condition (including multiple sclerosis, depression, encephalitis, epilepsy, or obesity)
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Dysfunction of part of the nervous system

It can also result from a physical problem, such as a tumor, head trauma, or injury to the central nervous system.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty waking from a long sleep
  • Slow thinking
  • Slow speech
  • Memory difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Increased irritation
  • Decreased energy
  • Hallucinations

    Medications are available to treat one form of hypersomnia. Other medicines may be used to treat symptoms. Lifestyle changes can include avoiding caffeine or alcohol, avoiding night work and social activities that delay bedtime, and going to bed at a regular time. Counseling and support groups can also help you learn to cope with hypersomnia.

    Learn About Clinical Trials
    Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.

    How can I or a loved one help improve care for people with hypersomnia?

    Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about hypersomnia and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

    All types of volunteers are needed—those who are healthy or may have an illness or disease—of all different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to ensure that study results apply to as many people as possible, and that treatments will be safe and effective for everyone who will use them.

    For information about participating in clinical research visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You. Learn about clinical trials currently looking for people with hypersomnia at Clinicaltrials.gov.

    Where can I find more information about hypersomnia?

    Information may be available from the following resources:

    American Sleep Apnea Association
    Phone: 888-293-3650

    Hypersomnia Foundation, Inc.
    Phone: 678-842-3512

    National Sleep Foundation
    Phone: 703-243-1697

    Order publications from the NINDS Catalog
    The NINDS Publication Catalog offers printed materials on neurological disorders for patients, health professionals, and the general public. All materials are free of charge, and a downloadable PDF version is also available for most publications.