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Sleep Lab Studies Hypersomnia, or Sleeping Too Much

This is Science Today. When it comes to sleep disturbances, most people tend to think of insomnia. But at the Sleep and Psychological Disorders Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Allison Harvey is also looking into the opposite of insomnia called hypersomnia, or sleeping too much.

Harvey:            When we first started working on bipolar disorder, we thought that it was all about insomnia - that people with bipolar disorder only experienced insomnia and it was just sitting own and trying to treat three or four patients that that view was completely turned around.

Narrator:        Harvey says patients were reporting having trouble getting up in the morning or difficulty managing their sleepiness during the day. So, Harvey's lab is working to develop cognitive behavioral treatments to deal with hypersomnia.

Harvey:          This is a fascinating problem right out there in the literature at the moment. We've just started a clinic here; we're trialing a new treatment that we've developed based on the little bit of research that been being done.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.