Narcolepsy : Sleep Disorder : Symptoms

Definition
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks.

Symptoms
The most common symptoms of narcolepsy are:

1.Periods of extreme drowsiness every 3 to 4 hours during the day. You may feel a strong urge to sleep, often followed by a short nap (sleep attack).

  • These periods last for about 15 minutes each, although they can be longer.
  • They often happen after eating, but may occur while driving, talking to someone, or during other situations.
  • You wake up feeling refreshed.

2.Dream-like hallucinations may occur during the stage between sleep and wakefulness. They involve seeing or hearing, and possibly other senses.
3.Sleep paralysis is when you are unable to move when you first wake up. It may also happen when you first become drowsy.
4.Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone while awake, resulting in the inability to move. Strong emotions, such as laughter or anger, will often bring on cataplexy.

  • Most attacks last for less than 30 seconds and can be missed.
  • Your head will suddenly fall forward, your jaw will become slack, and your knees will buckle.
  • In severe cases, a person may fall and stay paralyzed for as long as several minutes.

Not all patients have all four symptoms.

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