7 Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Sleep is the body’s way to recharge itself with energy, and it is the brain’s way to consolidate memories. Sleep has many benefits, but too much sleep can have a negative impact on your health.

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterized by the loss of control of sleep and wakefulness. The sufferers’ sleep cycle and sleep-wake cycle is not properly regulated as a normal sleep cycle would be. People who suffer from narcolepsy have sleep attacks, which consist of sudden exhaustion and quickly slipping into stage four sleep. Sleep attacks can occur at any time of the day or night (e.g. driving, working, cooking, etc.). Narcolepsy typically evinces itself in the mid-teens and early twenties, but it can evince itself at any age. The exact cause of narcolepsy is currently unknown. Narcolepsy is believed to be caused by several factors (e.g. genetics, brain chemical deficiencies, and abnormalities in the brain).

1. Sudden Sleep

Sudden sleep describes the sleep attacks. Sudden sleep is the most common and most well-known symptom. The reality of sleep attacks is often not how they are portrayed by the media. The sufferer does not instantly fall asleep and wake up. The sufferer starts to feel exhausted beyond control and then falls into a sleep, where they rapidly reach stage 4 sleep. Sleep attacks can be triggered when the suffer is experiencing intense emotion (e.g. laughter, crying, or embarrassment). Sleep attacks typically last seconds to several minutes.