Psychiatry Advisor: Idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) is a chronic neurologic sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness even though a person can get adequate, or more typically, long amounts of sleep (more than 9 to 10 hours in a 24-hour period).

People with IH often struggle to wake, although they set multiple alarms, and also have difficulty rising from bed (sleep inertia). They may start the day feeling extremely groggy (sometimes referred to as sleep drunk), and can experience significantly reduced focus and concentration during waking hours (brain fog).

People with IH often live without a correct diagnosis for a long time, blaming themselves and struggling to maintain work, studies and relationships. The Hypersomnia Foundation and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc have partnered on a disease awareness campaign, “I Have IH,” to increase awareness and knowledge of IH within the health and larger sleep community. To better determine physicians’ understanding of the sleep disorder, the Hypersomnia Foundation and Jazz Pharmaceuticals conducted a survey of 305 health care providers, measuring their perceptions and knowledge of IH.

This survey was conducted online by Toluna Analytics between February 5 and February 12, 2021 among a nationally representative sample of 305 health care providers. The cohort included self-identified sleep specialists (n=4), neurologists (n=67), psychiatrists (n=82), pulmonologists (n=90), and primary care physicians (n=62). About 49% were board certified in sleep medicine. There were 148 sleep doctors and 157 non-sleep doctors among the health care providers who responded to the survey.

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