Voted Living Magazine's BEST SLEEP SPECIALIST in Cy Fair, 4th Year in a Row!

Living with idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) is challenging. Constant sleepiness can make it difficult for an individual to work, raise children, do housework, drive, or do even the smallest of errands.

The fact that IH is an invisible disability adds to its difficulty. It not only drains one’s energy but also has an impact on your relationships, school, or work.

While there’s no cure for IH yet, certain lifestyle changes can help alleviate idiopathic hypersomnia symptoms. Read this blog to learn about these changes.

What Does It Feel Like to Have Idiopathic Hypersomnia?

People with IH may experience:

  • Mental/emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, and irritability.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Headaches.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Dizziness.
  • Difficulty with memory or organizing thoughts.
  • Nightmares.
  • Sleep paralysis.

Healthcare providers recommend lifestyle changes in addition to medication to help patients manage IH symptoms. While these lifestyle adjustments may not completely alleviate sleepiness, they can make a living with IH bearable.

Tips for Living with Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Here are some tips that can help to ease the symptoms of idiopathic hypersomnia:

  1. Make Sleep a Priority
    People with IH ought to prioritize sleep since a consistent sleep pattern is critical for IH treatment. To avoid increasing tiredness, avoid late-night activities and naps late in the day.
  2. Try Behavioral Therapy
    Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) aims to improve the quality of life-changing habits and negative thoughts. This therapy can also help reframe your ideas, lessen feelings of hopelessness and anxiety, and improve time management.
  3. Divide Your Day into Blocks
    One of the finest suggestions for coping with idiopathic hypersomnia is to divide your day into three blocks: morning, afternoon, and evening.
    This improves time management, ensures regular breaks, and balances tasks, making it simpler to deal with idiopathic hypersomnia symptoms and stay productive throughout the day.
  4. Limit Caffeine Use
    People with IH consume a lot of caffeine to help them control their tiredness and remain productive. While caffeine provides brief comfort, it should be avoided later in the day to minimize sleep interruptions. Limiting consumption to the morning or early afternoon promotes a better sleep cycle.
  5. Assess Your Other Medications
    Certain drugs, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants, and pain relievers, could worsen idiopathic hypersomnia symptoms rather than alleviate them by causing drowsiness.
    If your drugs cause fatigue during the day, consult your healthcare provider about alternate medications.
  6. Educate Those Around You
    IH can feel like everlasting drowsiness. Your loved ones may not grasp the situation and compare it to regular tiredness. However, bringing them to visits can help explain that IH is a medical disease, not a choice.
  7. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
    Alcohol affects sleep signals in the brain, reducing sleep quality. While it may help you fall asleep quickly, its metabolism during sleep might alter your normal sleep patterns.

In a Nutshell

Life with idiopathic hypersomnia impacts both physical and mental well-being as well as the social life of an individual. While there’s no cure, the above-mentioned tips may help manage symptoms.

For queries about IH or other sleep disorders, contact Sleep & Headache Solutions at (832) 688-8886.

Skip to content