Exercise reduces the levels of the two proteins, resulting in reduced excessive sleepiness, the findings showed. The study involved people with hypersomnia, which is characterised by sleeping too much at night as well as excessive daytime sleepiness.

"Identifying these biomarkers, combined with new understanding of the important role of exercise in reducing hypersomnia, have potential implications in the treatment of major depressive disorder," said study senior author Madhukar Trivedi from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the US.

People with hypersomnia are compelled to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work, during a meal, or in conversation.

They often have difficulty waking from a long sleep, and may feel disoriented upon waking, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 The findings appeared in the journal Translational Psychiatry.


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