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Recurrent Hypersomnia

Posted Aug 30 2010 10:43am

Recurrent Hypersomnia is an extremely rare sleep disorder that involves intensely long periods of sleep that cannot be avoided. People with this disorder may take to bed for up to eighteen hours a day, and they will sleep consistently during these times. This disorder is not a byproduct of depression or drug use, but instead is a real disorder that does not affect many people. The episodes of extended sleep occur once in a while and sometimes correspond with a female’s menstrual cycle. Even though the bouts with extended sleep do not consistently occur they can still have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life. It is quite difficult to keep up with studies or maintain a job if once in a while a person needs to sleep for the majority of the hours within an entire day.

People with Recurrent Hypersomnia usually have normal sleeping schedules when they are not engaged in a Hypersomnia episode. This indicates that there may not be any other sleep disorder present. This rare sleep disorder can be particularly perplexing to the people affected because the episodes occur sporadically and oftentimes without warning. This means that a person may have a completely normal sleep schedule, an obligation to work, and a family to interact with. When this person suddenly takes to bed for hours at a time – for days or weeks on end – it can be a very confusing experience for everyone involved. Many people fear a depression or other cause for the long periods of sleep, and since most people have never heard of Recurrent Hypersomnia, they never think to blame it all on a rare sleep disorder.

Recurrent Hypersomnia merits diagnosis and treatment. Since this particular sleep disorder can be so incredibly disruptive to a person’s life – and for the life of the people counting on the person affected by the disorder – it is quite important to seek out assistance from a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders. Since this disorder is so incredibly rare, doctors and sleep experts may not think to diagnose this disorder and may instead improperly diagnose something else entirely thereby postponing proper treatment. Even if this rare sleep disorder is not the root cause for episodes of extreme sleeping, people should make no mistake about it: sleeping for hours on end is definitely cause for seeking out medical assistance to find out what is causing the condition.

Treatment for Recurrent Hypersomnia often includes daytime stimulants to try to keep the affected person awake long enough to fulfill daily obligations. The stimulants are not taken every day, but instead are only needed during an actual episode of Recurrent Hypersomnia. Sleep experts also tend to agree that this is a sleep disorder that appears to lessen in its effectiveness as the years go by, so a person suffering with this disorder may find that in a few years the episodes become less prevalent and then eventually end altogether. Treatment is relatively limited, however, since the disorder is so rare.

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