Narcolepsy is a rare disorder that affects about one in 2,000 people in the U.S.
There are more than 80 defined sleep disorders. The Sleep Wellness Institute has sleep experts ready to help you get a better life through better sleep.
Defined: According to the National Sleep Foundation, Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that is caused by the brain’s inability to properly regulate and maintain natural sleep patterns. In a normal sleep cycle, REM sleep, which is the dream phase of your sleep, takes about 90 minutes of sleeping to begin. However, Narcolepsy creates an interruption in the natural waking and sleeping cycles, and causes those with the condition to experience REM sleep at the very beginning of their sleep cycle, and also causes random durations of REM sleep suddenly, at any time of the day or night.
Because the attacks happen suddenly, people with narcolepsy are more likely to get into car accidents.
Narcolepsy is diagnosed through a thorough sleep study. A patient’s sleep cycle and REM patterns will be examined, and they’ll be observed for other symptoms as well. While there is no known cure, Narcolepsy is treatable through lifestyle changes and sleep management.
My sales job requires me to drive all over the state. I used to get so tired around 2 or 3 in the afternoon that I’d have to pull over and take a nap. My work suffered, and I worried about falling asleep at the wheel. It turned out I had sleep apnea. Now I use a CPAP machine while I sleep, and it’s made all the difference. I don’t feel like I’m going to fall asleep while driving and I’m a lot more productive at my job.
I had to force myself to stay active at my job just so I wouldn’t fall asleep. After work, I’d fall asleep in front of the TV. I never had energy, no matter how much I slept. After my sleep study at the Sleep Wellness Institute, my doctor recommended I use a CPAP machine at night. The treatment turned my life around. I’m in bed less but feel more rested, my blood pressure is lower, and the problems with my ulcerative colitis went away.
I knew I snored a lot but I didn’t realize it was a big deal. I learned I stopped breathing 11 times in the night after I did a sleep study. Scary but at least they could help.