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3.5. What is narcolepsy?




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This article is from the Dreaming FAQ, by "Lars Rune Foleide" larsrune@sf.telia.no .

3.5. What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder with no known cause. Its onset
can occur at any time throughout life, but its peek onset is during
the teen years. The main characteristic of narcolepsy is excessive and
overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after adequate nighttime sleep.

A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep,
often at inappropriate times and places. Daytime sleep attacks may
occur with or without warning and may be irresistible. They may also
experience periods of catalepsy, temporary decrease or loss of muscle
control, especially when getting excited. Hypnagogic hallucinations,
vivid, often frightening, dream-like experiences, occur while falling
asleep or waking up. Sleep paralysis, temporary inability to talk or
move when falling asleep or waking up. It may last a few seconds to
minutes. In addition, nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent
awakenings. Daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic
hallucinations can also occur in people who do not have narcolepsy. If
sufficiently troublesome can be reduced significantly in some people
with Tricyclic antidepressants (eg. Imipramine), which suppress REM
sleep.


 

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