08 September 2014

Events: September 8-14, 2014 is Idiopathic Hypersomnia Awareness Week

From the Hypersomnia Foundation website:

"Hypersomnia is a debilitating neurological disorder where patients lose their cognitive ability, sleep excessively, yet still crave sleep above all else. ...This means they often struggle to work, operate a vehicle or live independently. In fact, often just waking up is an ordeal in and of itself with even sonic boom alarms, the help of family and powerful stimulants not being enough. While the onset of symptoms is generally in early adulthood it routinely takes up to a decade for new patients to be formally diagnosed…"

The founder of SHC was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia (IH) several years ago after finding herself faceplanting into her laptop during engaging teleconferences with clients. At some point, the daytime sleepiness was so severe that she was afraid to drive more than an hour at a time without having to stop to nap. She finally realized that "being a working mother" was not a reasonable explanation for her otherwise unreasonable symptoms. She participated in both an overnight polysomnogram and a daytime multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) to uncover the source of her excesses daytime sleepiness. It turned out to be a combination of IH and Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). Treating both conditions has made all the difference in the world. She can drive safely, manage online meetings with maximal alertness and get through the day without taking added naps, which impose on her already busy schedule.

If you feel excessively sleepy, day in and day out, and you want your energy and your hours back (!), please consult your physician about potential causes.