Sleepiness is a physiological function, and can be defined as increased propension to fall asleep. However, excessive sleepiness (ES) or hypersomnia refer to an abnormal increase in the probability to fall asleep, to take involuntary naps, or to have sleep atacks, when sleep is not desired. The main causes of excessive sleepiness is chronic sleep deprivation, sleep apnea syndrome, narcolepsy, movement disorders during sleep, circadian sleep disorders, use of drugs and medications, or idiopathic hypersomnia. Social, familial, work, and cognitive impairment are among the consequences of hypersomnia. Moreover, it has also been reported increased risk of accidents. The treatment of excessive sleepiness includes treating the primary cause, whenever identified. Sleep hygiene for sleep deprivation, positive pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea, dopaminergic agents and exercises for sleep-related movement disorders, phototherapy and/or melatonin for circadian disorders, and use of stimulants are the treatment modalities of first choice.
Excessive somnolence; Sleep disorders; Circadian rhythm disorders; Narcolepsy; Restless legs syndrome; Sleep apnea, obstructive