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Sleep Disorders Message Board

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Re: Narcolepsy...
Jul 24, 2006
Hi, I don't know if anyone responded to your requestions regarding narcolepsy. I've had this since my teens; am 60 now (female). This is a tough thing to have - no cure, meds not any good, no sympathy for this so there will never be a cure and it's very annoying and disruptive.
Sleep paralysis is just one of the phases with narcolepsy, which I believe is quite similar to epilepsy. It is definitely a disorder within the brain, and not sleep-deprivation linked. I think it's when the neurons in the brain stop firing up, temporarilly, caused by different factors. One I know is some very specific food additives and preservatives, not sugar, like some doctors thing and this is often misdiagnosed as low blood sugar. Another causative factor is, of course, stress - sudden acute stress and I think that is why some people faint or fall asleep suddently after hearing very bad news, like the death of a loved one.

Being asleep but aware of being asleep and aware of the dreams, is all very nice, like you are in and outside your body, but it doesn't get you anything. I get incredible life-like dreams in glorious color, sometimes hallucinatory in nature, sometimes frightening but as long as I wake up and realize I went out again, all is well, but some dreams are disturbing. I wonder if those aren't after an especially stressful day. Just like regular dream patterns would be, but these aren't necessarilly at night during the regular sleep period.

I find that stimulating foods such as coffee and sweets helps me and keeps me less prone to these narcoleptic episodes and I find that looking down for periods of time, brings them on and then I go out like a light, like I am drugged for surgery and am groggy for a long period of time after waking, and I sound like I am drunk. I definitely would not let anyone know, except for the fact that in your field, this could be very dangerous.

Mine definitely got worse with age, but it may not have anything to do with the age-process, more to do with lifestyle. As one gets older, they are less active and less stimulated with daily activities, such as running around all day. I think this is more the case because when I am out of the house (I am retired and sell things on my websites), I can overcome that overwhelming need to sleep, mostly due to the fact that I cannot just sleep in the Mall.

I had the associated syndrome cataplexy in my 20s but it stopped after a few years and I don't know why. Maybe I learned to catch myself before it was triggered.

This is so much like epilepsy, in that, you can feel yourself going into this state, whichever state of the narcolepsy you are prone to, and you can modify your activity to avoid it. When I start to feel that extremely powerful need to sleep in the middle of an activity, wherein you don't care if you live or die, you just want to sleep, I immediately get up, go into another room, do something active and after a short while, that feeling is completely gone. It's the strangest thing.

My mother had this too and my son has this and he also has had epileptic seizures and he is a truck driver so allertness is extremely important for him and he has learned what to do and what not to do. Mind control is very important and will get you thru this, but remember to keep safe in your career, this can be a problem and I wish you luck and perseverance.

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