Sleep: The conditions which may be behind your excessively sleepy state

Sleep: The conditions which may be behind your excessively sleepy state

SLEEP is vital, but what happens if you sleep too much? Hypersomnia is the clinical term for excessive sleeping. What could be behind the condition?

The Sleep Doctor highlights the core symptoms of hypersomnia. These include:

  • Sleeping for extended hours at night (typically well beyond the seven to eight hours)
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning (including sleeping through an alarm)
  • Trouble rising from bed and starting the day
  • Grogginess on and off or consistently throughout the day
  • Trouble concentrating

Experts at John Hopkins Medicine confirm that “oversleeping is associated with many health problems”.

These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and headaches.

Sleep apnoea

The NHS explains this condition describes when a person’s breathing stops and starts during sleep.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include making gasping, snorting or choking noises during sleep, loud snoring and waking up a lot.

To determine a diagnosis of sleep apnoea, the doctor will need to refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.

Restless leg syndrome

Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, this is a condition of the nervous system.


Restless leg syndrome causes an overwhelming and irresistible urge to move the legs.

The NHS adds that “it can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs”.

The condition is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms – periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS).

Neurologists believe the symptoms of restless leg syndrome may be related to how the body handles the chemical dopamine.

The Sleep Doctor adds that narcolepsy may also be behind hypersomnia.

Narcolepsy is a neurologically-based sleep disorder where the brain lacks the ability to control sleep-wake cycles.

The NHS states it’s often caused by a lack of the brain chemical hypocretin.

Although there’s no cure for the condition, medication may be able to minimise its impact on daily life.

Published at Sun, 10 May 2020 22:20:00 +0000