U.S. News & World Report Features Struggles of Idiopathic Hypersomnia

An article published on May 11, 2015, in U.S. News & World Report highlights the struggles of two women whose lives are challenged by idiopathic hypersomnia. They are, as reporter Anna Miller explains, “at the sandman’s beck and call.”

One Friday night in August 2008, Jennie Murray went missing. Her mom had flown to Tempe, Arizona, where Murray was about to begin school at Arizona State University, but she never picked her mom up from the airport as planned.

Throughout the night, Murray didn’t answer her phone. At noon the next day, her mom reported her missing to the police.

Then, Murray woke up.

“When she called home, the relief swept over me,” her mom, Catherine, remembers. Murray had fallen asleep at a friend’s house after a party – and didn’t wake up for nearly two days.

“I saw the missed calls, and I went home,” Murray recalls. “My mom was really happy to see me. She was really frightened.”

Murray has a form of hypersomnia, or excessive daytime sleepiness despite clocking ample sleep at night, according to the Hypersomnia Foundation. The condition largely overlaps with what the American Psychiatric Association refers to as hypersomnolence disorder. While the average American knows what it’s like to feel sluggish during the day because he or she isn’t sleeping well enough or long enough at night, people with hypersomnia sleep so soundly and for so long that their lives are at the sandman’s beck and call.
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