Suddenly Asleep? You Potentially Have Narcolepsy
After a night of not enough sleep, most people will likely feel drowsy the next day. And if your surroundings are dark, quiet, and relaxing enough — or if your previous night of sleep was short enough — you may even nod off inadvertently.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. People with narcolepsy may wake up in the morning feeling well-rested, but they’re unable to sustain that alertness throughout the day. As a result, people with narcolepsy often feel excessively fatigued and frequently fall asleep during daytime hours, even when they’re engaged in conversation, work, or other activities.
Narcolepsy is divided into two types. Type 1 is more common and includes a symptom called cataplexy, which causes a sudden loss of muscle tone. Type 2 is narcolepsy without cataplexy.
Narcolepsy symptoms are better known and easier to define than the causes. The symptoms of narcolepsy usually begin at adolescence or early adulthood.
In addition to cataplexy, they often include the following:
Sleep attacks. Defined as “periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time,” , these common narcolepsy symptoms can last a few seconds to several minutes.
Sleep paralysis. This symptom of narcolepsy is described as the temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking. Episodes are temporary and usually last no more than a few minutes, but can be disorienting and cause significant emotional distress.
Sleep hallucinations. Often found to accompany sleep paralysis, sleep hallucinations (or “hypnagogic hallucinations,” as they’re also known) are images seen just before falling asleep, or while fully awake. These images are “unusually vivid, seem real, and can be frightening,”
Difficulty sleeping at night. Many people with narcolepsy sleep poorly at night. They may have trouble falling and staying asleep. Vivid, scary dreams may disturb sleep.”
Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). Calling it the narcolepsy symptom that’s “most consistently experienced by almost all individuals with narcolepsy,” EDS as an ongoing feeling of mental cloudiness, depressed mood, lack of energy and general, consistent exhaustion.
Consultation with a neurologist can be as an outpatient or inpatient procedure. Patients can carry out consultations at the same time as other health tests. Undergoing a neurological disease examination is painless and safe to do.
Some disorders that may occur in the nervous system and need to be consulted include:
- Disorders of the blood vessels of the brain
- Functional impairment Degenerative disease
- Pinched nerves or autoimmune disorders of the nerves
- Infections such as polio, meningitis and encephalitis
- LBP (Low Back Pain), HNP (Hernia Nucleus Pulposus / Pinched Nerve)