Narcolepsy is among the very unusual and least common of all sleep disorders. It’s both a medical condition as well as a sleep disorder that causes persistent and uncontrollable cases of daytime sleepiness. Someone who has narcolepsy can have the abrupt onset of sleepiness and fall asleep at an instant ‘s notice irrespective of where they are or what they’re doing. They may drop whatever they chance to be holding, become wilted, and fall to the ground in slumber. Narcolepsy is classified as a long-term neurological disorder and is regarded as due to the brains inability to correct regular sleep wake cycles. But, the cause for this particular irregularity stays a puzzle.
In addition to the abrupt onset of uncontrollable sleepiness, people who have problems with narcolepsy could also experience three distinct symptoms.
Cataplexy, which refers to spells of unusual muscle weakness or paralysis that happens without loss of consciousness.
Hypnopompic and hypnogogic hallucinations, which refer to hallucinations experienced while waking up or when falling asleep.
With the regular interruptions of sleep routines, narcolepsy can cause a mess on a person ‘s quality of life. Narcolepsy patients complain of feeling consistently fatigued and irritable.
Narcoleptic “sleep attacks” can happen several times a day, with each attack lasting anywhere from a number of seconds to nearly an hour. Most spells of sudden sleepiness happen during long meetings and lectures. Most people that suffer from narcolepsy report feeling refreshed and restored upon reawakening. Some narcolepsy patients also report the narcoleptic attacks may be powerfully hallucinogenic, or only somewhat irritating.
It’s estimated that 25 people out of every 100,000 people in the United States suffer from narcolepsy, with an estimated 125,000 individuals diagnosed with the illness. The illness is believed to hit people using a genetic predisposition, as it’s most generally duplicated in some specific families.
Generally, narcolepsy grows during adolescence, with the majority of people diagnosed between ages ten and twenty. Nevertheless, some people are diagnosed in early childhood, and some elderly may have the sudden onset of sleep attacks too. Some studies suggest the consequences of narcolepsy wane with age, although this remains in dispute.
Narcolepsy is generally diagnosed through a description of symptoms and by reviewing the outcomes of an electroencephalogram (EEG). Oftentimes, a medical professional will suggest the patient be analyzed over the course of a sleep laboratory.
Sadly, there isn’t any real cure for narcolepsy – only treatment. The main treatment for narcolepsy involves making several lifestyle alterations, including getting regular exercise, avoiding stimulants, and integrating routine rests into the person ‘s daytime schedule. Really, taking two to three brief rests of 15 to 20 minutes has been shown to help people control excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy might have to negotiate with their companies to allow for routine rests during their normal workday.
People with narcolepsy may also significantly reap the benefits of keeping a daily exercise program. Only exercising for 20 minutes a day can help control slumber attacks, enhance the grade of nighttime sleep, and help restrain a healthy weight. A number of research show that excessive weight may promote the intensity of narcolepsy symptoms.
Getting routine slumber during the standard night hours is also significant in controlling the consequences of narcolepsy. Stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes ought to be avoided for a number of hours before bedtime.
Drugs generally prescribed to people with narcolepsy contain stimulants like ephedrine or amphetamines. Antidepressant drugs are from time to time also used to restrain the cataplexic episodes that frequently accompany spells of daytime sleepiness. Over the counter drugs and caffeine aren’t revealed to prove successful in fighting the drowsiness brought on by narcoleptic sleep episodes. In 1999, a brand new drug was accepted by the FDA to treat excessive daytime sleepiness. The drug, Modafinil, has proved successful in suppressing excessive daytime sleepiness, but it will not treat the cataplexy, paralysis, or hallucinations brought on by narcolepsy.
While narcolepsy itself doesn’t cause any medical issues or threats, unexpected spells of intense daytime sleepiness present the risk of causing injuries. There have been instances of some narcoleptics really educating their kids to drive at a much younger age than is officially permitted just in case they’re in a traffic scenario when the parent falls asleep.
Narcolepsy can interfere together with the performance of regular tasks, reduce general productivity, and interrupt with regular night sleep routines. Additionally, recent research suggests that narcolepsy could be linked to blood pressure and depression.
Narcolepsy patients can significantly enhance their quality of life by preserving regular and healthful sleep programs, and by taking drugs to fight the consequences of cataplexy and excessive drowsiness.