Sleep is a repetitive interruption of wakefulness corresponding to the SRAA interruption (reticulated system activator bottom); during this faze, body functions are still controlled by the underlying anatomical structures.
Hypersomnia is classified as one of the disorders responsible of initiating and maintaining sleep or as an excessive sleepiness disorder , characterized by a disturbance in the quantity, quality or regulation of sleep.
The first hypersomnia symptoms reported by persons suffering from this disease are the tendency to sleep during the day, although the night sleep was long enough. Sometimes the sleep can even occur unwittingly. Episodes of sleep during the day do not occur in the form of “attacks”, but occur in situations in which stimulation is low (eg reading boring, long road).
Hypersomnia symptoms and the social life
The real quality of sleep at night is normal, measurements showed an increased physiological sleepiness, which is why patients report the appearance of sleep after a much shorter period of time; it does not appear as a ‘sleep attack’, suddenly. These episodes of sleep may unintentionally damage the socio-professional and relational activities, the drowsiness may be at the same time an inconvenience but also dangerous, especially if the person is driving a car.
The long night’s sleep accompanied by a slow morning awakening, can lead to a certain inability to follow morning activities. Moreover, the efficiency, focus and attention during the day can change in their downward. In addition, this drowsiness can be interpreted by the others as boredom or as a lack of interest; this facts can alter the social and familial relationships of the person presenting hypersomnia symptoms.
In this case, many people with this disorder when waking up are confused, irritated, they tend to do things with a reduced complexity, as an automatic activity, for example, they can realize that they have driven the car for a long without actually figuring out the whole journey, automatically. These people are at risk of self – treating themselves by taking pills able to stimulate them, keeping them awake in order to develop their own activities during the day.
The most obvious of the hypersomnia symptoms, the excessive sleepiness, can be seen in the context of infectious diseases, in encephalitis, liver diseases, kidney diseases, myxedema, the excessive use of substances that induce sleep, etc.
The essential element of this disorder is the excessive sleepiness for at least a month and that manifests itself either prolonged sleep episodes or episodes of sleep during the day, every day and it is severe enough in order to damage the social, professional and relational activity.
To remember and note if these hypersomnia symptoms occur regularly at a certain time, for several days to several weeks, several times a year. Note that if periods of excessive sleepiness last at least three days, several times a year for at least two years, hypersomnia gets the name of the appellant hypersomnia.
This sleep disease is not as common as insomnia, but it is seen mainly in teenagers (in order to refuge and avoid conflicts). The true prevalence (total number of cases in a population at a time) of the hypersomnia symptoms is not fully known, but from all patients who present themselves to specialized clinics accusing especially drowsiness during the day, state disturbing both he/she and the entourage, only about 5-10% of them confirmed the diagnosis of hypersomnia.
Appellant mentioned form of hypersomnia named Klein-Levin syndrome (it affects mostly teenagers men, approximately 70% of them) is more rare. By performing additional tests and excluding other diseases, it is stated a lifetime prevalence of about 16%, with an incidence (all cases of illness caused by a disease in a given period, relative to total population) of about 8% over a period more than four years.
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