Here’s All You Need to Know About Narcolepsy and Symptoms to Look Out For
Imagine that you have been working relentlessly for 48 hours without an ounce of sleep – how would you feel? You’d probably find yourself drifting off into sleep while carrying out daily tasks but, this is just an assumption, right? Anyone who hasn’t slept in 48 hours would want to sleep not to put themselves in a dangerous position. Unfortunately, though, this is what daily life is like for people suffering from narcolepsy.
What is Narcolepsy?
This condition is defined as a chronic sleep disorder in which the patient exhibits extreme and overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden bouts of sleep. They struggle to stay awake for long periods of time, which oftentimes results in them sleeping during unconventional times or while carrying out tasks. This not only puts their life in potential danger but also disturbs their entire daily routine.
There are two types of Narcolepsy as defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Type 1- Patients with low levels of hypocretin-1 (the chemical responsible for keeping you awake) and comes with the symptom of cataplexy or muscle weakness.
Type 2 – Patients have regular levels of Hypocretin-1 and do not deal with cataplexy. Instead, they experience the same symptoms but with less intensity.
Symptoms of Narcolepsy
This disorder is quite rare because it only affects one in 2000 people, but most people struggle throughout their lives without a diagnosis, so it is important to understand the symptoms.
1. Excessive Sleep During Daytime
This is one of the most prominent symptoms of narcolepsy. Patients suffer from an overwhelming need to sleep, and the urge to sleep usually increases when carrying out daily monotonous tasks. They slip into a sleeping state without any prior warning and wake up feeling refreshed.
2. Disturbed Night Sleep
People suffering from narcolepsy are often subject to misconceptions like they can sleep long and peaceful sleep since their body requires a lot of rest, but this can’t be any further from the truth. Most people struggle to get quality sleep and end up developing other chronic issues like sleep deprivation.
Narcolepsy isn’t all about sleeping – some people suffer from sleep paralysis and vivid hallucinations as they doze in and out of their sleep sessions. This includes the patients either hearing or seeing things, and in some situations, they deal with both auditory and visual hallucinations. Doctors state that these vivid hallucinations are usually fearsome in nature and can affect the patient’s mental wellbeing.
Isn’t all this information eye-opening? You now have a better insight into what life is like with narcolepsy.
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