Idiopathic hypersomnia is a rare but serious neurological disorder characterized by excessive tiredness during the day, either with or without long hours of sleep. Though there is no cure for the condition, patients may find relief using lifestyle changes and medication. In some cases, the symptoms of sleep disorder spontaneously improve. When a person has hypersomnia they may, over time, experience significant problems including memory loss, anxiety and low energy. Though there is no particular cause of Idiopathic hypersomnia, conditions which may lead to excessive daytime sleepiness include sleep apnea, depression, head injuries, viruses, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, restless leg syndrome and hyperthyroidism. A person may experience Idiopathic hypersomnia with or without long hours of sleep. Patients may sleep more than 10 hours per night followed by excessive sleepiness during the day or they may sleep fewer than 10 hours and experience daytime sleepiness.
At BRAINS, doctors trained in sleep medicine, lung and breathing conditions (pulmonary medicine), mental health conditions (psychiatry) and other areas, are experts at treating those with idiopathic hypersomnia. To diagnose Idiopathic hypersomnia, the doctors will review the symptoms, family and medical history and subsequently proceed to conduct a physical examination. The doctor may order several tests to diagnose the condition, determine the cause and rule out other conditions.
Dctors at BRAINS will work towards developing the most appropriate treatment to help manage the condition. The treatment may include following options:
- Lifestyle modifications: Certain lifestyle changes, such as having a regular sleep schedule, avoiding driving while drowsy or avoiding alcohol or medications that may affect your sleep are typically included as part of the treatment.
- Medications: Usually some stimulants are prescribed to help the patient stay awake during the day.
- Monitoring: The treatment will be monitored over a period of time to observe your condition and determine the effectiveness of medications.
The doctors might recommend the following procedures:
- Epworth Sleepiness Scale: This helps you to rate your tiredness with this test, so that the doctors can determine how sleep affects your daily life.
- Sleep diary: The doctors may ask you to keep a sleep diary in which you log your daily sleep and wake times to help show your sleep pattern.
- Polysomnogram: In this test, you stay in a sleep center overnight. A polysomnogram monitors your brain activity, heart rate, oxygen levels, eye movements and breathing function as you sleep.
- Multiple sleep latency test: This test is basically designed to measure your sleepiness and the types and stages of sleep you experience as you nap during the day. This test is conducted the day after a polysomnogram.