Hypersomnolence, also known as hypersomnia, involves repeated or prolonged bouts of sleep or sleepiness at inappropriate times, such as during the daytime or morning hours when the person is required to be awake.
The ideal treatment for hypersomnolence is based upon the symptoms experienced. Stimulant medications, such as dose-controlled amphetamines, most often prescribed for ADHD, can be used to sustain alertness in individuals with hypersomnolence. Several examples include d-amphetamine, methylphenidate (an ingredient in brand names, Ritalin and Concerta) and modafinil. Other drugs used to treat hypersomnolence include clonidine, levodopa, bromocriptine, activating antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
Behavioral techniques can also be helpful for regulating one’s sleep schedule in ways that promote optimal day-to-day functioning. For example, avoiding late-night work and social activities may avoid delayed bedtime (one cause of excessive daytime sleepiness). Patients should also avoid ingesting alcohol and caffeine in the hours close to bedtime.