Is Hypersomnia a Symptom of a Brain Injury?

Question: 

Is there anything to do to help with post-traumatic hypersomnia — sleeping too much?

Answer: 

First, you need to make sure that excessive sleepiness or hypersomnia is, in fact, a result of TBI before deciding on appropriate treatment.

There are many reasons that people can be excessively sleepy and post-traumatic hypersomnia is really a diagnosis of exclusion; that is, one needs to make sure that all other conditions are adequately assessed for and ruled out before assigning a diagnosis of post-traumatic neurogenic hypersomnia. Endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism can also result in fatigue and excessive sleepiness. Medication-related side effects can produce hypersomnia. Non-restorative sleep patterns like obstructive sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome can produce hypersomnia. Depression and anxiety can also be causes.

If the hypersomnia is a direct result of the TBI, then the traditional treatments tend to be pharmacologic and include the use of more naturopathic “medicines” such as caffeine, Guarana, or Gotu cola. When stronger pharmacologic agents are necessary, then stimulant-type medication such as amantadine, armodafinil, atomoxetine, or controlled substances such as psychostimulants are often prescribed.

Posted on BrainLine August 18, 2011.

Comments (6)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Hard to find info on TBI/depression/sleep disorders. Just had my 3 sleep study and the outcome was Hypersomnias. Was in the military in 1999 and suffered a TBI. Was in the hospital and put in a coma due to my brain swelling. Woke up four days later, had issues speaking and brain fog. That seems to lead to depression, now spending years trying to figure out why I'm so tired. And CPAP is useless, drugs are useless. Will continue to look for answers.

MVA 2 years ago hyperinsomnia since. Any one doing hyperbaric oxygen as treatment?

My Mother hit her head on the tile floor.  She was unconscious for about 20 minutes.  Then she awoke and was in full controll and normal speech and movement.  Three hours later she fell asleep and is sleeping for over 24 hours.  She is being given an anti seizure medication.  Why is she not waking up?

I was recently in an MVA. I was a passenger in a carpool van. I was seat bealted in when our vehicle was rear ended by 2 separate vehicles. My head hit the headrest so hard I felt my brain hit the inside of my forehead. I had instant brain pain, pain behind my eyes n neck pain not forget the spinal pain. It has been one month since the accident and my brain still hurts. Can u tell me about how much longer this pain will last? And since the accident I have been sleeping around the clock. Before the accident I had complete insomnia. Thank you, Sincerely, Pained brain.

I fell from 6 feet while doing an obstacle course race and fell flat on my back/head. It’s been over 2 years and numerous doctors. My concussion symptoms are getting better but every doctor told me everyone is different. You need to be your own advocate and try to keep a diary of all your symptoms. I know it’s hard. Just take one day at a time. I hope you heal quickly and just take care of yourself.

I was diagnosed with a concussion after an auto accident. It has been almost three months now. I was sleeping 12-14 hours a day after the initial 22 hours had pass. Now , I am having insomnia. My question is can one go from insomnia to sleeping weeks at 14 hours/day and requiring another 3-4 hours to get fully going?