Identifying subtypes of Hypersomnolence Disorder: a clustering analysis

Sleep Med. 2019 Dec:64:71-76. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2019.06.015. Epub 2019 Jul 4.


Background: Patient heterogeneity is problematic for the accurate assessment and effective treatment of Hypersomnolence Disorder. Clustering analysis is a preferred approach for establishing homogenous subclassifications. Thus, this investigation aimed to identify more homogeneous subclassifications of Hypersomnolence Disorder through clustering analysis.

Methods: Patients undergoing polysomnography (PSG) and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) assessment for hypersomnolence were recruited as part of a larger investigation. A sample of patients with Hypersomnolence Disorder was determined based on a post hoc chart review protocol. After removing persons with missing data, 62 participants were included in the analyses. Self-report total sleep time, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score, and Sleep Inertia Questionnaire (SIQ) score were chosen as clustering variables to mirror Hypersomnolence Disorder diagnostic traits. A statistically-driven clustering process produced two clusters using Ward's D hierarchical approach. Clusters were compared across characteristics, self-report measures, PSG/MSLT results, and additional objective measures.

Results: The resulting clusters differed across a variety of hypersomnolence-related subjective metrics and objective measurements. A more severe hypersomnolence phenotype was identified in a cluster that also had elevated depressive symptoms. This cluster endorsed significantly greater daytime sleepiness, sleep inertia, and functional impairment, while displaying longer sleep duration and worse vigilance.

Conclusions: These results provide growing support for a nosological reformulation of hypersomnolence associated with psychiatric disorders. Future research is necessary to solidify the conceptualization and characterization of unexplained hypersomnolence presenting with-and-without psychiatric illness.

Keywords: Clustering; Depression; Hypersomnolence; Hypersomnolence disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Depression / complications
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / classification*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / complications
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysomnography