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The second step is to have an overnight polysomnogram PSG study performed at a sleep clinic. This sleep study is used to rule out other potential sleep disorders that may be causing EDS such as obstructive sleep apnea and periodic leg movement disorder. During a PSG, the patient is hooked up to several electrodes that monitor brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, blood pressure, body movement, and more. The MSLT measures the same functions as the PSG, but it is conducted during the day through a series of five 20 minute naps spaced 2hours apart.

Sleep onset latency is the time it takes a person to transition from wakefulness to sleep. A normal person's sleep latency is between minutes, while a patient suffering from idiopathic hypersomnia is slightly shorter than usual at 8 minutes or less. For most people, the first cycle of REM sleep takes minutes to enter. Narcolepsy type I is usually easily distinguishable because it often has cataplexy associated with it.

In patients with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, sleep onset latency occurs quicker than in most other people. Patients with narcolepsy also experience rapid sleep onset REM periods. Often, if the patient also has sleep paralysis this can occur almost immediately, but generally narcoleptics enter REM in under 15 minutes.

Currently there is no cure for idiopathic hypersomnia. While IH is similar in some aspects to narcolepsy and some of the treatments for narcolepsy can be used for IH, there are no FDA approved prescription medications for IH. Many of the prescription medications for narcolepsy are used "off label. Most of the treatments focus on the symptom of EDS, and there is no prescribed treatment for other symptoms such as sleep drunkenness or cognitive dysfunction. Management of symptoms of IH usually involves sleep hygiene techniques and some medications. Sleep hygiene are general practices that are encouraged for nearly all people to avoid sleep difficulty.

While not exactly a treatment for IH, many of the practices of sleep hygiene can still prove helpful. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same times everyday, including weekends. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages if taking amphetamine based medications. Talk to others about your condition. Having the love and support from those close to you can go a long way in treatment. Furthermore, your coworkers, employers, and teachers should also be aware of your condition to help accommodate your needs.

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Support groups can also be helpful in connecting with others suffering from the same condition. At support groups you can also learn about the latest developments in medicine, get coping tips from others, other practical help, and even emotional support. Stimulant medications used to treat narcolepsy are often used to treat IH. These stimulants include adderall, modafinil, nuvigil, armodafinil, dextroamphetamine, and methylphenidate Ritalin.

These stimulants help promote wakefulness during the day to combat the symptoms of EDS. The largest problem for sufferers of IH is that they live in a near constant state of never feeling completely awake. Constantly feeling sedated can negatively impact lives.

A Practical Guide to the Therapy of Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia Syndromes - Semantic Scholar

Performance at work and school, troubles with social and family lives, and even the dangers of driving or operating machinery, are all hardships hardships for sufferers of IH. If you live in Alaska and believe that you may be suffering from a debilitating sleep disorder click the link below for a free minute phone consultation with one of our sleep educators to help determine if a sleep study is right for you.

The Alaska Sleep Clinic would like to thank our friends Michelle Chadwick at hypersomnolenceaustralia. Topics: sleep disorders. New Module Add content here. Alaska Sleep Education Center.

What is Idiopathic Hypersomnia? Symptoms of Idiopathic Hypersomnia Excessive sleep. Not uncommon for sufferers to sleep in excess of 16 hours in a day. All hypersomnia spectrum disorders need more research and better treatment options. These devastating disorders affect quality of life, not just for patients but their families as well. Many patients cannot work, and those who do struggle immensely. Treatments for hypersomnia-related disorders focus mainly on stimulants, but one of the biggest issues with taking stimulants is the eventual tolerance that develops.

This requires taking time off work or school with no guarantee that the stimulant will work when restarted.

Subjective symptoms in idiopathic hypersomnia: beyond excessive sleepiness

Their finding that flumazenil, a medication used to bring patients out of anesthesia, has provided promise of a potential treatment to the hypersomnia community. Flumazenil is currently in phase 3 of clinical trials.


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Patients and providers alike are confused by the different disorders of hypersomnia. Because there are no quick diagnostic answers and very little research on the topic, patients have suffered. It has resulted in some of the leading sleep disorder researchers writing their own definitions or grouping all of the disorders of hypersomnia together. It has also led to research papers not separating idiopathic hypersomnia and hypersomnia. Hypersomnia patients truly are the forgotten patients in sleep medicine.

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Kasha Oelke is a sleep advocate as well as an idiopathic hypersomnia and sighted non patient. She runs the website www. Roth B, Broughton R. Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia. Basel, Switzerland: S. Dillon N, McShane L. Robin Williams spent final days in darkened bedroom as depression worsened; friend Rebecca Erwin Spencer found his body.

New York Daily News.

August 13, American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Kleine-Levin syndrome: a systematic review of cases in the literature. Epub Oct Dauvilliers Y, Buguet A.

Disorders of excessive sleepiness: narcolepsy and hypersomnia.

Dialogues Clin Neurosci. Th first one clearly said i had narcolepsy. A side thing is that my apnea wakes me most mornings after around 6.


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  • Idiopathic hypersomnia.
  • Symptoms (See Table).
  • Where do they get this? I have no sleep interruptions.

    Alaska Sleep Education Center

    I sleep usually hrs. THAT is not the same thing. I finally was given a daytime sleep study and found to have Idiopathic Hypersomnia. Maybe you would benefit from MSLT too. Hi, Can anybody help me. I am 50 years old and have suffered with chronic sleepiness for 24years. I am currently awaiting the results of a sleep study. I have previously been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome but my symptoms just do not fit this diagnosis.