27. Jan, 2016

Managing Idiopathic Hypersomnia - Keeping Active

We are almost at the end of the first month of 2016 if you can believe it, and like many other people you may have made some new year’s resolutions for a more healthier you, so keep reading for a great opportunity and important reasons to get active!

As we all know being active and exercising is good for everybody, however it is especially important for people with idiopathic hypersomnia, people with other sleep disorders and other chronic health conditions in general.  

Long periods of bed rest (chronic extended sleeping for our patient population) has detrimental effects on the body1,2,3. You may have read some of the articles Hypersomnolence Australia posted to social media late last year about Australian researchers findings4. These highlighted just how bad for you long hours of sleep, (greater than nine) along with several hours of sitting and lack of exercise can be by putting you at a much higher risk of dying.

One of the news articles5 surmises: “The study says that those who sleep more than 9 hours a night, sit more than 7 hours a day, and exercise less than 150 minutes a week are four times more likely to die young compared to people who have healthier habits. Smoking, alcohol intake and less sleep were found slightly less harmful than being physically inactive and sleeping too much."

In the case of Idiopathic Hypersomnia or even “Long Sleepers”6 there are no treatments that cure the need for more sleep. Wake promoting medications can aid people with IH to have some more time awake, but also just being physically active and standing can help with alertness as well as overall wellbeing. In order to keep as healthy as possible we must be mindful of our activity and exercise levels and improve them as best we can.

There is a great programme coming up in Victoria (although anyone in Australia can participate) that a physiotherapist introduced me to last year. I found that by logging my activity it encouraged me to do more, I was also surprised by just how much incidental activity and my walking to and from places can add up. There are prizes to be won and luck was on my side as I won a prize to get up close and visit the penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium!

Hypersomnolence Australia will have a Team, I encourage our patient community, friends, family, supporters and even health professionals to join. Registration is easy, then request to join Team ID: hypersomnolence-australia

This programme is being ran by the Victorian governement so in order to be eligible for incentives and prizes, individuals must be Victorian residents and must register to participate in Premier’s Active April between 23 January and 30 April 2016. However anyone can join our team so if you don't live in Victoria that's no excuse not to get active this April! If you are in Brisbane check out the Medibank Feel Good Program.

Looking forward to seeing you on Hypersomnolence Australia’s team!

Sarah Patterson

*Before starting any exercise programme please check with your health professional*

Premier’s Active April encourages all Victorians to do 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to get more people active and healthy.

Use the online Activity Tracker to log your daily activity and track your progress throughout the month. Plus, you can create and join teams, compare the progress of team members, discover events near you and win awesome prizes!

Just by registering every participant gets*:

  • 10 free passes to a participating YMCA or local government facility
  • 15% off at Sportsmartin store and online
  • one hour free tennis court hire at Melbourne Park or Albert Reserve
  • one free Get into Cardio Tennissession
  • a 2 for 1 ticket offer to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
  • a chance to win some great prizes including entry into the draw to win tickets to the 2017 Australian Tennis Open Finals*, a $1,500 bike voucher or a GoPro Camera

Register today at activeapril.vic.gov.au and join our Facebook event 

*Terms and conditions for all prizes and offers apply. Visit activeapril.vic.gov.au for details.


1. Effects of bedrest 1: cardiovascular, respiratory and haematological systems.

2. Effects of bedrest 2: gastrointestinal, endocrine, renal, reproductive and nervous systems.

3. Effects of bedrest 3: musculoskeletal and immune systems, skin and self-perception.

4. All-cause mortality effects of replacing sedentary time with physical activity and sleeping using an isotemporal substitution model: a prospective study of 201,129 mid-aged and older adults.

5. If You Sleep Too Much, You’re At A Higher Risk Of Dying Young, Says Study.

6. Long Sleeper