This blog and the postings for the month of February will deal with excessive sleepiness and a group of disorders that cause excessive sleepiness and excess sleep that are of central (or neurologic) origin. These disorders do not have a physical cause like sleep apnea or leg movements. For the most part, these disorders are uncommon, and for that reason not always appreciated by physicians who do not practice sleep medicine or neurology. Some of these disorders may cause symptoms for years before diagnosis. For example, narcolepsy usually becomes symptomatic in the late teen years to early twenties and is frequently not diagnosed until the patient is in their 30’s.
Hypersomnia is essentially the same as excessive sleepiness but also includes excessive sleep (sleep for long periods in a day). Patients with hypersomnia may find that they are constantly sleepy in spite of adequate sleep. For some patients abnormal…
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