Narcolepsy – The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Narcolepsy, though a rare condition, affects every aspect of the life of the people who suffer from it. Here’s what you need to know about narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which a person may find it extremely difficult to stay awake and in extreme cases of this disorder, men and women may suddenly fall asleep while performing an activity. Narcolepsy can affect every aspect of a person’s life and those suffering from narcolepsy have a tendency to fall asleep even if they had a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from narcolepsy, you should seek immediate treatment.

Sleep comes in cycles to humans. The first block of sleep is the non-rapid eye movement. The second block of sleep is the rapid eye movement phase where you have the deepest sleep. People suffering from narcolepsy have a different sleep pattern than those who enjoy normal sleep patterns. In narcolepsy, a person will fall directly into deep sleep, skipping the non-rapid eye movement phase completely.

What Happens To Narcoleptics?

Most people suffering from narcolepsy usually have some aspects of rapid eye movement sleep during times that they are actually awake. When this happens, narcoleptics tend to lose the control and the tone of their muscles which in turn can cause them to collapse when fully awake.

Sleep Paralysis is another common symptom experienced by narcoleptics as are hallucinations which can come from very vivid dreams that seem to continue after the person is awake. Narcoleptics may also be unable to speak immediately after waking up.

Narcolepsy Causes

While the exact cause of narcolepsy may still be unknown, some studies have suggested that narcolepsy may occur when a chemical called hypocretin is either missing or released in low quantities in a narcoleptics brain. Hypocretin is an important chemical for helping the brain to wake up. Studies also suggest that narcolepsy is hereditary in nature and may be passed along from one generation to the next.

Narcolepsy Symptoms

There are many symptoms of narcolepsy, but the primary one is the inability to keep awake. The condition itself often causes problems with activities at work or school and injuries and accidents often occur due to an inability to maintain focus and concentration.

Other symptoms of narcolepsy include impaired thinking, depression, impaired memory and due to the inability to keep awake, a person suffering from narcolepsy may also suffer serious problems in their social life.

Can You Get Narcolepsy?

The incidence of narcolepsy is not very great as the condition is genetic. Men and women are equally able to develop narcolepsy, with people between 15-30 years old being most likely to develop narcolepsy symptoms. Many people may have mild symptoms of narcolepsy which are easy to live with.

Narcolepsy Treatment

As of right now, no treatment has been found for this condition. However, many of the symptoms of narcolepsy can be treated using medications and therapy. A sleep therapist will be able to suggest treatment based on how severe and the type of the conditions you have.

For more information about narcolepsy causes and available treatments, call The Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute at 1-855-690-0563.