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Sleep. 2009 Jun;32(6):753-9.

Idiopathic hypersomnia with and without long sleep time: a controlled series of 75 patients.

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  • 1Unité des Pathologies du Sommeil, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.



To characterize the clinical, psychological, and sleep pattern of idiopathic hypersomnia with and without long sleep time, and provide normative values for 24-hour polysomnography.


University Hospital.


Controlled, prospective cohort.


75 consecutive patients (aged 34 +/- 12 y) with idiopathic hypersomnia and 30 healthy matched controls.


Patients and controls underwent during 48 hours a face-to-face interview, questionnaires, human leukocyte antigen genotype, a night polysomnography and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), followed by 24-h ad libitum sleep monitoring.


Hypersomniacs had more fatigue, higher anxiety and depression scores, and more frequent hypnagogic hallucinations (24%), sleep paralysis (28%), sleep drunkenness (36%), and unrefreshing naps (46%) than controls. They were more frequently evening types. DQB1*0602 genotype was similarly found in hypersomniacs (24.2%) and controls (19.2%). Hypersomniacs had more frequent slow wave sleep after 06:00 than controls. During 24-h polysomnography, the 95% confidence interval for total sleep time was 493-558 min in controls, versus 672-718 min in hypersomniacs. There were 40 hypersomniacs with and 35 hypersomniacs without long ( > 600 min) sleep time. The hypersomniacs with long sleep time were younger (29 +/- 10 vs 40 +/- 13 y, P = 0.0002), slimmer (body mass index: 26 +/- 5 vs 23 +/- 4 kg/m2; P = 0.005), and had lower Horne-Ostberg scores and higher sleep efficiencies than those without long sleep time. MSLT latencies were normal (> 8 min) in 71% hypersomniacs with long sleep time.


Hypersomnia, especially with long sleep time, is frequently associated with evening chronotype and young age. It is inadequately diagnosed using MSLT.

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