Idiopathic hypersomnia

  • Definition

    Idiopathic hypersomnia is sleeping too much (hypersomnia) without an obvious cause. It is different from narcolepsy, because idiopathic hypersomnia does not involve suddenly falling asleep or losing muscle control due to strong emotions (cataplexy).

    Alternative Names

    Hypersomnia - idiopathic; Drowsiness - idiopathic; Somnolence - idiopathic

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The usual approach is to consider other potential causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

    Other sleep disorders that may cause daytime sleepiness include:

    • Isolated sleep paralysis
    • Narcolepsy
    • Obstructive sleep apnea
    • Restless leg syndrome

    Other causes of excessive sleepiness include:

    • Atypical depression
    • Certain medications
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism)
    • Previous head injury