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Idiopathic Hypersomnia vs. Sleep Apnea

May 12, 2020

Idiopathic Hypersomnia vs. Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders are tricky to understand, since many are related, and it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where they start and which one is the cause of the effect. In the case of idiopathic hypersomnia and sleep apnea, there is definitely a correlation in some diagnosis, where people who are chronically tired throughout the day feel that way because their sleep apnea is causing restless sleep at night. Of course, it’s important to see a doctor immediately if you are dealing with any sleep issues that are severe or negatively impacting your life. 

What does Idiopathic Mean?

The biggest difference between this specific hypersomnia condition and others is that there is no root cause. The name inherently states that with the use of the word “idiopathic”, which essentially means that there is really no cause for the situation or symptom that is presenting itself. In the case of hypersomnia, or feeling the need to sleep excessively, there is typically a reason involved in why you can’t stay awake. It might just take some time to find it. If you’re one of the rare few without a cause, then this would be an accurate diagnosis for you. 

Sleep Apnea Leads to More

In a lot of situations, people will end up with a condition like hypersomnia or chronic fatigue as a result of other sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is one condition that can lead to a lot of other issues and symptoms, including excessive daytime sleepiness and a general feeling of confusion or fogginess upon waking. This condition can lead to several other conditions and create much bigger problems than just interrupting your breathing when you sleep. If this is the cause of your hypersomnia, the diagnosis will no longer include the term “idiopathic”, because you have now discovered the root issue. 

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and Your Health

Those who struggle with idiopathic hypersomnia could face a lot of other health issues and potential career or personal life risks. Being excessively tired during the day means that your body is not getting the rest that it deserves. This can lead to increased stress and result in the body producing a stress response, which might even further perpetuate the hypersomnia. If you are feeling groggy or excessively tired during the day, or even if you notice struggles with your cognitive function, it’s important to figure out a way to improve your mental health so that your physical health can improve, too. 





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