The key difference between hypersomnia and insomnia is that hypersomnia is a medical condition that causes an inability to stay awake, while insomnia is a medical condition that causes an inability to sleep.
Hypersomnia and insomnia are two types of sleep disorders with a neurological basis and share some common symptoms. Even some triggers are common in hypersomnia and insomnia. Common sleep disorders like hypersomnia, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea can affect every aspect of life, including safety, relationships, schooling, work performance, thinking, mental health, weight, development of diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, not getting enough quality sleep can hurt the quality of every person’s life.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Hypersomnia
3. What is Insomnia
4. Similarities – Hypersomnia and Insomnia
5. Hypersomnia vs Insomnia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Hypersomnia vs Insomnia
What is Hypersomnia?
Hypersomnia is a medical condition that causes the inability to stay awake. Those who suffer from this medical condition may spend as many as sixteen hours a day asleep; however, they feel as exhausted when they wake up, just like someone with chronic insomnia. Most adults feel rested and perform best when they sleep between seven and nine hours each day. In the case of hypersomnia sufferers, amount of sleep may not be sufficient. The symptoms of this medical condition include excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, a feeling of grogginess, need to sleep despite having an adequate sleep, sleep inertia and a feeling of disorientation, and drowsiness while walking. The symptoms of primary hypersomnia may differ from secondary hypersomnia. Secondary hypersomnia may include cataplexy, sudden weakness of muscles associated with laughter or strong emotion, sleep paralysis (parasomnia), REM sleep disturbances, and hallucinations. The causes of hypersomnia include sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, not getting enough sleep at night, being overweight, drug or alcohol abuse, head injury, prescription drugs such as tranquilizers or antihistamines, genetics, and depression.
Moreover, hypersomnia can be diagnosed through sleep tests such as the Epworth sleepiness scale and multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT), and other medical examinations. Furthermore, primary hypersomnia may be treated with sleep stimulants (antidepressants such as fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram), treatment of secondary hypersomnia addressing an underlying cause, and other treatments include good sleep hygiene, yoga, hypnosis, and mediation.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a medical condition that causes an inability to sleep. The core symptoms of insomnia may appear at any time of the lifecycle, and they may include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, difficulty falling back to sleep, inability to sleep even when given the opportunity, waking up during the night, waking up too early, not feeling well-rested after a night‘s sleep, day time tiredness, irritability, difficulty paying attention, increased errors or accidents, and ongoing worries. The common causes of this condition are stress, travel or work schedule, poor sleep habits, and eating too much late in the evening. Moreover, chronic insomnia may be associated with other medical conditions or the use of certain drugs.
Insomnia can be diagnosed through physical examination, sleep habits review, and sleep study. Furthermore, insomnia can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapies such as stimulus control therapy, relaxation techniques, sleep restriction, remaining passively awake, light therapy, and medications like eszopiclone, ramelteon, zaleplon, and zolpidem.
What are the Similarities Between Hypersomnia and Insomnia?
- Hypersomnia and insomnia are two types of sleep disorders.
- Both disorders can be caused due to stress and depression.
- They may have similar symptoms.
- Both disorders can occur due to underlying conditions.
- These disorders may have a genetic predisposition.
- They are treatable conditions through behavioral therapies and medications.
What is the Difference Between Hypersomnia and Insomnia?
Hypersomnia is a medical condition that causes an inability to stay awake, while insomnia is a medical condition that causes an inability to sleep. Thus, this is the key difference between hypersomnia and insomnia. Furthermore, hypersomnia can occur due to sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, not getting enough sleep at night, being overweight, drug or alcohol abuse, head injury, prescription drugs such as tranquillizers, or antihistamines, genetics, and depression. On the other hand, insomnia can occur due to stress, travel or work schedule, poor sleep habits, and eating too much late in the evening.
The below infographic presents the differences between hypersomnia and insomnia in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Hypersomnia vs Insomnia
Hypersomnia and insomnia are two types of sleep disorders. Hypersomnia is a medical condition that causes the inability to stay awake, while insomnia is a medical condition that causes the inability to sleep. So, this is the key difference between hypersomnia and insomnia.
1. “Hypersomnia (Excessive Tiredness) Causes, Treatments.” WebMD.
2. “Insomnia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Oct. 2016.
1. “Hypersomnia self-care – Jonathan Soren Davidson for Disabled And Here” By Jonathan Soren Davidson for Disabled And Here – AffectTheVerb (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Depiction of a person suffering from Insomnia (sleeplessness)” By Myupchar (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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