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Hypersomnia / Excessive Sleepiness Disorder / Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Hypersomnia is feeling sleepy throughout the day or sleeping too long at night and having trouble waking up. People with hypersomnia may fall asleep at inappropriate times, for example, at work. Hypersomnia happens sometimes because nighttime sleep is disturbed because of sleep apnea, but it can also have other causes.

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Hey everyone,

I'm here to tell you that I think I have Idiopathic Hypersomnia, I'm very sleepy in the morning if I wake up. Typically I do not feel very sleepy during the daytime. The problem is when I go to sleep, I an a heavy sleeper. Alarms dont wake me up, and I've also been told that I do not wake up even if someone slapped me several times on my face. I feel very irritated when my girlfriend try's to wake me up. However when I am awake I will argue with her for being so annoying, when I should be thanking her for waking me up. Unless I have something extremely important to do, I'll over sleep anywhere between 2 to 3 hours or 4 to 5 hours. People tell me all the time that I'm lazy for not getting up, but those alarm clocks and slaps to the face turn out to be blurs in my memory. Unless someone reminds me about it, I usually dont remember it happening. It seems like Im snoozing the alarm subconsciously. My girlfriend says I've even told her "Ok I'm awake", when I'm still sleeping. I feel like it's a curse or something. I've lost about 6 jobs within the last 5 years. While in High School, I would reach so late to class that I was embarrassed to go to class. So I skipped classes and eventually dropped out. Im not really sure if what I have is actually Idiopathic Hypersomnia, but Im leaning towards it. This is really ruining my life! Can someone please point the right direction to me.



Posted on : Sunday, October 4, 2009 2:05 AM
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Hey David,
I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia in May of this year afterhaving tried to live with it for as long as I can remember. High school wasn't too big of a problem for me since my parents were there to tell me to get up if (rather: when) I turned off my alarm and overslept. Once I got to college, though, things got pretty bad. I'm in my third year now and almost failed out. I didn't have anyone to answer to when I overslept, and a lot of people attributed it to laziness so I began to think it was me who had the problem., I was the reason for sleeping so much, the alarm went off but I turned it off and kept on sleeping, and most importantly I should be able to do something about it.

Then I met someone who had narcolepsy and started to realize that maybe I had something too. A few appointments and sleep studies later, made it turn out that I did. Sorry for life story there. I just saw a lot of parallels between his and mine so I guess I'm hoping it'll be at least a small comfort that we've had many of the same experiences. The irritation you talked about is also something I've experienced, but it was much more severe when I was younger (around elementary school). It's still there, but not nearly as bad. I'll try to get you as much information as I can find - I'd rather not try to explain much myself since I'm most definitely not an authority on anything. First, I learned quite a bit from this on:


It's a study on 42 people with various forms of hypersomnia. Really, its point was to find a line among the different hypersomnias as well as attempt to further distinguish them from narcolepsy, but it does have a lot of very interesting stuff in there about hypersomnia that I hope you'll find useful. Something I was just reading which is worth looking in to as well:


From the article, "Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a diagnostic consideration in some patients whose main complaints are extreme difficulty in awakening at the desired time and excessive morning sleepiness. These patients are not sleepy throughout the day, however, and go to bed or fall asleep extremely late at night." I'm not sure how much you feel relates to you but it might be worth looking into. Those are two of the few things I've been able to find that when I really went into the depth, though. Before my tests and after my diagnosis, I searched everywhere for information about the disorder but most of the websites really said the same thing ( http://www.sleepeducation.com/Disorder.aspx?id=48 is a good example).

(Heh - I've exceeded the limit. Gotta break this up into two posts. I should really try to not be so long-winded...)
Replied on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:03 PM
When it all comes down to this the only way to be certain is to make an appointment with a sleep specialist and see what he has to say. From what I've heard, your concerns are more than enough to warrant an appointment. Hopefully, if they agree, they'll be able to schedule you for some tests and you'll know what to do in a few weeks.

If there is any possible way you can see someone... the only advice that I can really give you is to do it. After my diagnosis, my doctor prescribed medication and my quality of life was instantly and incomparably better.

Two last things. The first is that the tests are incredibly expensive - make sure your insurance (hopefully you have it) is willing to foot the bill. I thought they were, they didn't, and I got slammed with a $1,600 bill (and that's after a very generous discount by the office that I went to). Second, there is no real treatment for the hypersomnia itself. Instead, most doctors will prescribe medication for to combat excessive daytime sleepiness which will be usually Ritalin, Adderall, or Provigil (Modafinil). The strange thing is that, with Provigil, I don't have as much of a problem waking up as I ever did before. 8 hours of sleep a night and I'm up the next morning (this is down from 12-13hours) and I feel much better after the 8hours than I ever did after the 12-13. I'm not sure if there would be any changes in your medication (if you are diagnosed) since your sleepiness is only present in the morning, but I just wanted to let you know the common route taken.

Feel free to post any more questions you have... I'll try to be of any help if I can. I hope all goes well, and let me know what happens if you happen to think about it a few months from now.

Replied on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:04 PM
hi Greg ! Do you know if the medication that you are taking now have any side effects? Thanks!
Replied on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 10:28 PM
Hi David,

The first step lies in seeing a doctor. I know it's easier for me in the UK, which has free healthcare, but I really think you should also do it. There are chances that you have something else, which could be easily solved - and even if it is hypersomnia, you might find a medication which really works for you. I would really advise seeing a doctor - if you're anything like me, you'd give anything to get back some of your life!

All the best

Replied on Friday, November 6, 2009 6:35 PM

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