ATLANTA, GA (CNN) - Many have heard of insomnia, a condition that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fall asleep.
But fewer may have heard the term hypersomnia.
People with Hypersomnia have the opposite problem as those with insomnia: They have a hard time waking up.
Researchers are working to understand the cause of hypersomnia to enable them to find a cure.
Diana Kimmel was a photographer, medical billing specialist and a mom. For years, she blamed her extreme exhaustion on a hectic lifestyle, until her body shut down.
Kimmel stated she was "too tired to go to kid's soccer games, feeling like it wasn't safe to drive, making huge mistakes on work."
As she spent five years trying to get a diagnosis her need for hours of sleep was sharply on the rise.
"I would be up to 15-16, and I would sleep all night long," said Kimmel, "I would wake up and by 9, 10 o'clock, I was back in bed."
Doctor David Rye says hypersomnia is much more intense than feeling a little groggy first thing after waking up.
"That feeling of that fog being there isn't going to go away with a cup of coffee," Dr. Rye said.
Doctor Rye and his colleagues study hypersomnia at the Emory University Sleep Center, where they say they have identified a possible cause in some patients by testing cerebrospinal fluid.
"Their body is producing a small protein, or what's called a peptide, that essentially mimics the effects of sleeping pills or anesthesia," Dr. Rye explained.
Researchers are testing a drug called flumazenil that is already FDA approved to treat an overdose of sedatives. Patients rub it into their skin like a lotion, or put it under their tongue, like a lozenge.
"I did see a notable difference after three days", Kimmel reported.
Kimmel stated she is not completely back to normal, but she is alert enough to get her life back.
"For me, that was like I won a gold medal",