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Narcolepsy Symptoms

Narcolepsy is condition which can be very dangerous and can even result in death indirectly, but if the narcolepsy symptoms are identified then treatment can be provided to prevent such events.

Narcolepsy is one of the common sleep disorders which people suffer from. This chronic neurological disorder affects the part of the brain that regulates sleep. Thus one suffering from this condition will tend to sleep at awkward times and situations. While the cause of the disorder is not yet known, it is generally accepted that environmental triggers which may be a virus or chemical along with certain genetic conditions are necessary.

While sleeping in a board meeting or dinner may be amusing and harmless, if one falls asleep when driving it can even be fatal. Thus it is of paramount importance that the narcolepsy symptoms are located as early as possible to allow for effective treatment.

Sleep Disorders are many and varied:

Of the various sleep disorders currently known to man, many have overlapping symptoms which are used for diagnosis. Narcolepsy is just one of the many. The narcolepsy symptoms which are experienced by people can be attributed to a number of different disorders and conditions. Thus it is very important to identify and share all the symptoms associated with the disorder to ones doctor.

Narcolepsy symptoms are often mixed up with sleep insomnia

Narcolepsy may be misdiagnosed as Sleep Insomnia:

Many a times only one of the narcolepsy symptoms is shown by most narcoleptics; excessive sleeping during the day and wakefulness during the night. Thus many doctors will make the mistake of assuming it to be sleep insomnia. Thus one must speak to ones doctor about all the symptoms which are experienced to facilitate proper diagnosis.

The Different Narcolepsy Symptoms:

Usually people who suffer from sleep disorders show different symptoms. Rarely is one symptom show by all. The narcolepsy symptoms which most people show are:

  • Excessive Sleepiness during the day: This symptom is shown by most of the people that are affected by this disorder. This may be followed by sleep episodes which occur at varied rates.
  • Cataplexy: Also known as loss of muscle control. People who suffer from the disorder tend to lose control of their muscles while awake, it is triggered when one laughs or other strong emotional triggers are experienced.
  • Loss of Sleep during the night: Many people cannot sleep properly during the night; this is followed by an increased heart rate, and extreme alertness. This symptom sometimes fools people into thinking one is suffering from sleep insomnia!
  • Micro Sleep: This causes people to sleep from small periods of time suddenly while performing regular functions such talking, but when they wake up they usually have no memory of the event.
  • Hallucinations: Some people, who suffer from this sleeping disorder, tend to get hallucinations while falling asleep. The experiences are usually vivid in detail and sometimes frightening.
  • Fast entry into dream sleep: Narcoleptics tend to immediately proceed to the dream stage of the sleep cycle. Also known as the REM stage, normal people take around 90 minutes to enter into the stage, narcoleptics however enter immediately upon sleeping.

These are the various narcolepsy symptoms; if identified properly then diagnosis and subsequent treatment are very simple.

2 Comments

  1. Here is one of the scary problem that I have been experiencing from childhood.

    During sleep, suddenly I scream and expect help from close by people to wake me up.
    Some times, I shout and keep screaming till someone wake me up.
    Some time I able to wake up myself after screaming for some time. (This time varies from 1min-10 mins; SOME Times its even longer)

    Some times, I can make out external environment, but I can’t get up ; It’s kind of scary.
    I have sleep apnea. I thought issue is because of sleep apnea.
    I have been using CPAP machine now. However I still have problem.
    Not sure about root cause. Suspecting the possibility of server sleep paralysis
    with Narcolepsy symptoms.
    I’m indeed loosing self-confidence and sometimes scaring as if I might die in sleep.
    Your help is greatly appreciated
    email id :- krishna.nutulapati@gmail.com

    • Get a medical dog, they can be trained to wake you when you are having sumptoms. Talk with your doctor about this.