What the Symptoms of Narcolepsy Are
People who suffer from narcolepsy have a neurological disorder that affects their sleep cycle. One of the main symptoms of narcolepsy is that the sufferer may fall asleep anytime, anywhere, without having any control over it.
At oneHOWTO we'll help you learn about this disease and you'll discover what the symptoms of narcolepsy, which is a serious sleep disorder.
One of the clearest symptoms of narcolepsy is that the person has what's called "excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)". In other words, the person is sleepy and tired throughout the day, which causes them to fall asleep suddenly and enter REM sleep within a matter of seconds.
The person falls asleep so abruptly that it's likely that they don't even realise they're asleep, which is why they're unable to control when and where they sleep. A narcoleptic can fall asleep while they're standing up, which can result in falls and injuries. Even so, this will not cause the person to wake up.
Narcolepsy also includes cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone, although this doesn't cause a loss of consciousness. Sufferers are physically relaxed as if they were asleep but remain mentally awake , causing them to react with strong emotions like laughter, fear or anger.
In addition to these reactions, narcoleptics may find that different parts of the body relax completely without the sufferer having actually fallen asleep. This can include head dropping, the eyelids drooping, a slackening of the jaw and weakness in the legs, etc. These attacks can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur several times a day.
Another symptom of narcolepsy is what are known as hypnagogic hallucinations. The hallucinations feel very real to the person experiencing them, both physically and visually, but in reality they are not real. These hallucinations are frightening and distressing, and occur when the narcoleptic goes from being awake to a sleeping state.
They can be such realistic visions that the person is unable to identify them as hallucinations. Therefore, it's very difficult for a sufferer to distinguish what's real and what's not, causing episodes of terror and great distress.
Narcolepsy also produces sleep paralysis, that is, when the narcoleptic wakes up or just as they're falling asleep they're unable to move and are temporarily paralysed. This symptom can be accompanied by a pressure or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and will disappear automatically or go away as a result of surrounding noise.
Sleep paralysis can also occur spontaneously in people who don't suffer from narcolepsy and is most common in adolescents.
People can experience other symptoms of narcolepsy that are less frequent but they can be as a result of the condition:
- Narcolepsy can cause depression
- People can experience problems with their concentration or memory
- An increase in appetite, which may cause weight gain
If you have any of the symptoms that we've specified in this article, it's possible that you have narcolepsy. At oneHOWTO we recommend you consult a specialist who will prescribe a treatment plan and monitor the disease.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What the Symptoms of Narcolepsy Are, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.