Meet the Man Who Sleeps for 300 Days a Year

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of human life, but for some individuals, it can become a burden rather than a source of rejuvenation. Imagine sleeping for almost 300 days a year involuntarily. This extraordinary phenomenon is experienced by a man from India who suffers from a rare sleeping disorder known as hypersomnia. In this article, we will delve into the life of this man and explore the intricacies of hypersomnia, its rarity, and potential treatments. Join us on this fascinating journey as we uncover the mysteries surrounding this baffling condition.

Who is Purkharam, the Man Who Sleeps for 300 Days a Year?

Purkharam, a resident of the Nagaur district in Rajasthan, India, is an individual plagued by hypersomnia. This disorder disrupts his daily life, causing him to sleep for extended periods, sometimes up to 25 days at a stretch. Purkharam, in his forties, struggles to maintain a normal routine due to this condition. He finds solace in the few days each month when he is awake and able to engage in daily activities. His family supports him as he manages to operate a grocery store during these wakeful periods.

Purkharam’s disorder is so severe that even basic tasks, such as showering and eating, are performed while he remains in a state of slumber. Initially, he would sleep for seven to eight days continuously, but over time, the frequency and duration of his sleeping episodes increased. This baffled his family, who struggled to understand why he would fall into such deep slumber and be virtually impossible to wake. Eventually, after consulting with medical professionals, Purkharam was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of hypersomnia.

What is Hypersomnia, and How Rare is It?

Hypersomnia is a condition characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day, despite getting adequate sleep at night. It can severely impact an individual’s personal and professional life, making it challenging to stay awake, alert, and active during daytime hours. The symptoms of hypersomnia vary, but they often include sleeping longer than the average person, difficulty waking up in the morning, taking repeated daytime naps, feeling confused or irritated, experiencing loss of appetite, and even hallucinations.

Purkharam’s case of hypersomnia falls into the category of an extremely rare form of the disorder. It is believed to be caused by fluctuations in the brain protein called TNF-Alpha. The exact mechanism and causes of hypersomnia are not fully understood, and in most cases, the specific triggers remain undetermined. However, certain factors, such as sleep apnea, excessive drug or alcohol intake, obesity, depression, specific medications, or head injuries, can contribute to the development of hypersomnia.

Hypersomnia affects only a small percentage of the global population, estimated to be around 4% to 6% 1. This rarity makes cases like Purkharam’s particularly intriguing and challenging to manage. Individuals with hypersomnia face significant obstacles in leading a regular life, as their excessive sleepiness can hinder their ability to perform daily tasks and increase the risk of accidents.

The Impact of Hypersomnia on Purkharam’s Life

The effects of hypersomnia on Purkharam’s life are profound. His days are spent in a state of perpetual sleep, with only a few precious waking moments each month. His family has witnessed the transformation of their loved one, as he has gradually succumbed to the uncontrollable urge to sleep. They recall the initial confusion and frustration when they couldn’t comprehend why he would sleep for extended periods and resist any attempts to awaken him.

Purkharam’s wife, Lichmi Devi, and his mother, Kanvari Devi, have become pillars of support, ensuring that his basic needs are met even while he slumbers. They have had to adjust to the unconventional routine dictated by his hypersomnia, accommodating his need for rest and ensuring he receives nourishment even in his sleep. Their hope remains steadfast as they long for a cure that would enable Purkharam to enjoy a life beyond his dreams.

Treatment Options and Challenges

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for hypersomnia. Treatment options focus on managing the symptoms and improving the individual’s quality of life. The approach to treatment varies depending on the type and severity of hypersomnia experienced by the patient. Lifestyle changes and medication are the primary tools used to address the condition.

In Purkharam’s case, doctors have prescribed medications to regulate his sleep patterns and attempt to reduce the frequency and duration of his sleeping episodes. However, his hypersomnia remains largely untreatable, and he continues to grapple with the overwhelming desire to sleep for extended periods.

It is important to note that each case of hypersomnia is unique, and treatment strategies must be tailored to the individual. Lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and stimulants, practicing good sleep hygiene, and engaging in regular physical activity, may also be recommended to manage the symptoms of hypersomnia.

The Hope for a Cure

While Purkharam’s story is disheartening, it is essential to remember that research and medical advancements continue to shed light on previously enigmatic conditions like hypersomnia. Scientists and doctors strive to understand the underlying causes of hypersomnia, paving the way for potential breakthroughs in treatment.

The rarity of hypersomnia poses challenges for researchers, as limited data and cases make it difficult to conduct large-scale studies. However, the determination to unravel the mysteries of this disorder persists, offering hope to individuals like Purkharam and their families.


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