Hypersomnolence, or severe daytime sleepiness, is significantly associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) according to study results presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, held from June 4 to 8, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While insomnia and depression have close ties, researchers know little about the connection between hypersomnolence and depression. To learn more, the researchers conducted a longitudinal study in the United States, recruiting 10,931 participants from 8 states. These participants completed 2 rounds of telephone interviews, which assessed both hypersomnolence and MDD symptoms according to the DSM-5 criteria.

The first round of interviews showed 27.2% of participants experienced at least 1 hypersomnolence symptom at least 3 days per week. During the second round, 26.4% of participants experienced 3-times-weekly hypersomnolence.

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The yearly incidence of hypersomnolence was 5.8%. MDD prevalence was 5.1% during the first round of interviews and 4.2% in the second round. Over half (54.2 – 50.7%) of the patients with MDD reported hypersomnolence.

The researchers concluded hypersomnolence predicted incident MDD with a relative risk of 2.0 and persistent MDD with a risk of 3.8. Insomnia had little effect on the association between hypersomnolence and MDD.


Ohayon, M, Pakpour A, Cote LM. The role of hypersomnolence in depression: results from a longitudinal study of the American general population. Presented at SLEEP 2022; June 4-8; Charlotte, North Carolina. Abstract 669.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor