HF’s “HINT” Test for Identifying Possible Sleep Disorders

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Student sleeping at deskHave you heard about the HF’s “HINT” test yet? It’s a quick four-question screening test, to help school professionals, primary care providers, and others identify people who might have a sleep disorder and thus need to see a sleep medicine expert for further evaluation. It’s all part of HF’s new initiative, Advancing the Front Line, raising awareness of hypersomnias among those who are most likely to come in contact with sleepy people! Our goal? To shorten the time between a sleepy person’s first symptoms and a correct diagnosis!


H – Hypersomnolence (the symptom of long sleep and/or excessive daytime sleepiness)?

People with IH remain excessively sleepy throughout the day despite getting enough (or even too much) sleep. Many sleep more than 9-10 hours in a 24-hour period.

I – Inertia or grogginess upon waking up?

Many people with IH are very groggy when they try to wake up (sleep inertia), and their sleep can be very deep, thereby resulting in the need for multiple alarms, reminders or rituals to actually get out of bed. Even when they do awaken, their cognitive skills may be affected.

N – Naps – Are they refreshing or not?

Most people with IH do not find naps refreshing (in contrast to people with narcolepsy).

T – Timeline – Sleepiness lasting more than 3 months?

If ANY sleepiness/hypersomnolence (regardless of other symptoms) persists for more than 3 months, then the person should probably see a sleep specialist for further evaluation.

For additional signs of IH, see
Approved by HF’s Medical Advisory Board

HF has distributed copies of our “HINT” test this year at multiple professional conferences, including the American College Health Providers (ACHP) conference in Denver, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) conference in Boston, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) conferences in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Attendees at these conferences have praised having a simple screening test to help them determine which of their sleepy students or sleepy patients might need to see a sleep specialist for further evaluation. You can download our HINT flyers here: 1) Sleepy Students; 2) Sleepy Patients.

We know that family physicians and school professionals are very busy people. That’s why we designed a screening test that is quick and easy to remember. Awareness comes in many forms – and we at the HF strongly believe that there are multiple, smart ways to raise awareness. It just takes creativity, effort, and the support of our donors!

This is just one of the arenas in which HF is raising awareness. Follow our social media and sign up for our e-newsletter, SomnusNooze, to learn more about the work of the “small but mighty” Hypersomnia Foundation. And consider making a donation, so we can continue this important work of improving the lives of people with rare sleep disorders.

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