What is narcolepsy and its symptoms?
Narcolepsy is a little known disorder where one has an excessive sleepiness. This might be inadvertently attributed to laziness or lack of proper sleep at night. However, there is more to this. It’s a chronic neurological disorder that affects the portion of the brain that regulates sleep. This causes excessive daytime sleepiness and even a sudden loss of muscle control known as cataplexy. When this happens, one would fall asleep while performing routine daytime activities such as working, reading or studying. These could be just brief episodes but they could turn dangerous, especially say if these happen when one is driving.
Narcolepsy can cause plenty of embarrassment and affect a person’s normal life in many ways. It may even cause an upset in relationships. It can also make a person lose self-esteem. This disorder is commoner than you think! It affects one in every two thousand people.
The first symptoms of narcolepsy usually manifest between the ages of 10 and 25. Excessive daytime sleepiness is the key symptom and this might leave you feeling tired even after getting a full night’s sleep. You would find it extremely difficult to prevent sleeping during the day and the episodes would vary through the day.
Some patients would find themselves having hallucinations. These can be quite frightening and appear very real. There could be a lurking feeling that someone or something is around in the bedroom. The feeling can bring on plenty of dread and fear.
Sleep paralysis is another key symptom where one could lose the ability to move or feel quite paralyzed while falling asleep or waking up. These episodes generally last a few seconds or minutes.
One might face problems with the memory as well. Since one is not fully awake when people say something, one might not recall things that were said. Disturbed night sleep and sudden loss of muscle tone are other symptoms.