Cause of sleep attacks or constantly tired? Narcolepsy is a sleep-wake disorder in which someone has a constant or sudden urge to fall asleep. Especially with boring and monotonic operations and even if there is no sleep shortage. But narcolepsy has more symptoms …
What is narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder and can lead to a continuous feeling of sleepiness, daytime sleep onset and muscle relaxation in emotions.
People with narcolepsy can suddenly fall asleep, even when there is no sleep shortage at all. At night they sleep often restlessly and very irregularly. People with narcolepsy can fall asleep even when driving or conducting a conversation!
4 Symptoms of narcolepsy
Narcolepsy has four symptoms, which are not all common.
Almost all people with narcolepsy are often struggling to stay awake during the day. They suffer from sleep attacks that take about 10 to 30 minutes. Usually this happens in quiet, boring and monotonous moments, such as while driving, sitting in a waiting room and meetings. This can be very annoying and sometimes even dangerous.
Narcolepsy patients often experience a sleep attack, but can only stop this by being very busy and actively involved. However, this again causes fatigue for the rest of the day.
Muscle relaxation (cataplexia)
About 80 percent of people with narcolepsy also suffer from cataplexia: muscle weakening in hot emotions like anger, scare and excitement.At such an instant all muscles or certain muscle groups fall out for about 30 seconds.
Sleep Paralysis (sleeper analysis)
Sleep paralysis occurs in about 30 percent of people with narcolepsy. This paralysis can occur when sleeping and waking up. You are already awake (half), but your body still sleeps. As a result, you can experience and perceive everything in your area, but you can not move. This can be very frightening.
About 25 percent of the narcolepsy patients experience sleep and sometimes even during the day,
hallucinations. These are dream images that arise while you are awake. The brains create all kinds of images and sounds that are not real.These dream images look alive and last for a few minutes.
Narcolepsy does not get you at birth, but develops as you age. Often the first symptoms occur in people between the ages of 15 and 30 years. The cause of narcolepsy is returned to the brain. There is a connection between narcolepsy and a particular substance, hypocretin.This dust has to do with the sleep rhythm and arranges to sleep and wake up. People with narcolepsy miss this substance.
Here the immune system appears to play a role. Some researchers think that a particular immune system has a bad influence on the brain cells that create hypocretin. The immune system confuses these cells with bad flu viruses, destroying them.
What’s on narcolepsy?
The cells that make hypocretin are destroyed and no longer return. Therefore, narcolepsy (yet) can not be cured. However, the complaints can be reduced by using certain medication that improves sleep, reduces hallucinations and avoids sleep attacks and paralysis.
It is especially important to keep a good sleep rhythm. A good sleep rhythm occurs regularly: every day at the same time in and out of bed, also on days off! In addition, planning of rest periods or short sleep breaks (or powernaps ) may help properly reduce unexpected sleep attacks during the day.