Hypersomnolence is excessive sleepiness. People with hypersomnolence, as opposed to fatigue, often fall asleep unintentionally. Once hypersomnolence has been confirmed, the first cause to be ruled out should be inadequate sleep time (chronic insufficient sleep). Most people require at least 7 hours of sleep per night and often closer to 8, men generally requiring less than women.
If lack of sleep is a problem, total sleep time should be increased before other diagnoses are considered or while other possibilities are being explored. Severe depression and drugs causing sleepiness should also be excluded. If sleep time appears adequate, sleep disorders from the hypersomnia group should be suspected. These include:
Ritalin or other stimulant drugs have been used successfully in controlling the need to sleep during the day.
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