Narcolepsy

Perfectly diagnosed by clara:)

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia. The condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which a person experiences extreme fatigue and possibly falls asleep at inappropriate times, such as while at work or at school. A narcoleptic will most likely experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and also abnormal daytime sleep pattern, which is often confused with insomnia. When a person with narcolepsy falls asleep they will generally experience the REM stage of sleep within 10 minutes; whereas most people do not experience REM sleep until after 30 minutes.

In narcolepsy, the order and length of NREM and REM sleep periods are disturbed, with REM sleep occurring at sleep onset instead of after a period of NREM sleep. Thus, narcolepsy is a disorder in which REM sleep appears at an abnormal time. Also, some of the aspects of REM sleep that normally occur only during sleep — lack of muscular control, sleep paralysis, and vivid dreams — occur at other times in people with narcolepsy. For example, the lack of muscular control can occur during wakefulness in a cataplexy episode; it is said that there is intrusion of REM atonia during wakefulness. Sleep paralysis and vivid dreams can occur while falling asleep or waking up. Simply put, the brain does not pass through the normal stages of dozing and deep sleep but goes directly into (and out of) rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

This has several consequences. Night time sleep does not include as much deep sleep, so the brain tries to “catch up” during the day, hence EDS. People with narcolepsy may visibly fall asleep at unpredicted moments (such motions as head bobbing are common). People with narcolepsy fall quickly into what appears to be very deep sleep, and they wake up suddenly and can be disoriented when they do (dizziness is a common occurrence). They have very vivid dreams, which they often remember in great detail. People with narcolepsy may dream even when they only fall asleep for a few seconds.

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