Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hypersomnia: Common Features & Effective Treatments

A new study examined the common features of hypersomnia and effective treatment options. The results were published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The study involved 85 people who had been diagnosed with hypersomnia at the
Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic. They were followed up for an average of 2.4 years. Their medical charts and clinical notes were reviewed and analyzed.

Sixty-five percent of the patients were women. Symptoms tended to begin when they were in their late teens. But typically they weren’t diagnosed with hypersomnia until they were in their mid-30s. Thirty-seven percent reported that at least one family member had excessive sleepiness.

Patients reported sleeping for an average of eight hours per day. Nineteen percent of patients reported sleeping for more than 10 hours per day. But the average sleep time measured by actigraphy was 7.5 hours per day. During an
overnight sleep study they fell asleep after an average of seven minutes.

Seventy-three percent of patients reported taking naps. The mean nap duration was one hour and 28 minutes. But in most cases the naps were considered to be unrefreshing.

The authors reported that the majority of patients responded well to treatment with
medication. A complete response to treatment was reported by 65 percent of patients.

Twenty-six percent had a partial response to treatment. Only nine percent reported a poor response.

The two medications that were most often prescribed were modafinil and methylphenidate. Both medications are recommended as a treatment option in
AASM practice parameters.

Modafinil was most often taken once a day in the morning. The average total daily dose was 367 mg. “High cost” was a common complaint of people who were using modafinil.

Methylphenidate was often taken three to four times per day. The average total daily dose was 60 mg.

Amphetamines were prescribed less often. And one patient reported a complete response to treatment with 200 mg of caffeine per day.

Forty-two percent of patients tried more than one medication. Eight percent were being treated with a combination of medications at their last visit.

Read more about
hypersomnia. Learn more about idiopathic hypersomnia with long sleep time and idiopathic hypersomnia without long sleep time on

Get help for hypersomnia at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

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