“Burnin’ the Z’s for Narcolepsy”
Narcolepsy is a medical disorder that impacts 1 in approximately 2,000 people in the United States of America. The disease is a sleep disorder, involving irregular patterns in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep and significant disruptions of the normal sleep/wake cycle. While the cause of narcolepsy is not completely understood, current research points to a combination of genetic and environmental factors that influence the immune system.
• Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), an overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue throughout the day
• Poor quality of sleep because the sleep wake patterns are disrupted
• Micro-naps (falling asleep for a few seconds) and sleep attacks (an overwhelming urge to sleep)
• Abnormal REM sleep, detectable only by sleep lab tests
• REM intrusion into daytime wakefulness
• Cataplexy, events during which a person has no reflex or voluntary muscle control.
• Hypnogogic hallucinations, events of vivid audio and visual events that a person with narcolepsy experiences while falling asleep, or while awakening
• Sleep paralysis, a limpness in the body associated with REM sleep resulting in temporary paralysis when the individual is falling asleep, or awakening
(Excerpt taken from the Narcolepsy Network)