Treating Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Treatment is based on the symptoms displayed and on a careful analysis of their most probable cause(s). Analysis of currently prescribed medications is always needed. Regularizing of nighttime and daytime sleep through behavioral interventions is a typical first step. Treating coexisting circadian abnormalities (light therapy, melatonin, etc) or sleep apnea (PAP therapy) may also be needed. The sleep specialist may then prescribe medications to help manage symptoms, and will also recommend continued changes in behavior, such as avoiding night work and activities that delay bed time, as well as changes to the diet and exercise routines. This may also include avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Medications may include stimulants such as modafinil or amphetamine-like compounds, ADHD medications, antidepressants and sedatives. In case amphetamine like stimulants are prescribed, tolerance and dependence should be carefully monitored as a possible complication. The Narcolepsy Network provides patient education and support for patients with idiopathic hypersomnia.

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STANFORD SLEEP MEDICINE CENTER

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