Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library


Coping with Narcolepsy

By Anne Wolski

Are you one of those people who can drop off to sleep anywhere? Do you find that you are going to sleep at inappropriate times? Are you constantly fighting to stay awake during the day despite having a good night's sleep? If so, you may be suffering from a condition called Narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy is a condition in which the sufferer has episodes in which he/she suddenly falls asleep. These episodes are uncontrollable and can last for anything from a few minutes to hours after which the person will awake feeling refreshed and fully alert. There are usually several episodes in a day.

Often, these attacks occur following a meal but they can happen at any time during the person's waking hours.

The condition does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background. It does normally become evident between the ages of 15 to 25 but can affect young children as well as the elderly.

Imagine the effect this condition can have on the lifestyle and the quality of life of the person. The person may be in class or in a meeting with colleagues when he suddenly just drops off to sleep. He may be at a party, crossing a street, having sex or, worse still, driving a vehicle when one of these episodes occurs. As you can see, the results of this illness could be catastrophic for both the sufferer and for the people around him.

The cause of Narcolepsy is unknown but it is agreed that it involves a malfunction of the neurotransmitters, the part of the brain that controls sleep and awake states. It is also possible that hormones such as melatonin may be maladjusted, thus failing to do their job which is to control normal sleep patterns.

There are also three auxiliary conditions associated with Narcolepsy. These are called cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.

Cataplexy involves sudden, temporary muscle weakness and is the most common secondary condition to Narcolepsy. Cataplexy is believed to occur during intense emotional states such as anger or excitement. During a Cataplectic attack, the person is totally aware and has total recall of the attack later on.

Hallucinations occur quite frequently in people with Narcolepsy and can be visual, audible, or tactile. These hallucinations can be terrifying for the person as they are similar to bad nightmares. Historically, people with these hallucinations accompanying Narcolepsy were misdiagnosed as having Schizophrenia.

Sleep Paralysis describes the feeling of not being able to move immediately before falling asleep and upon wakening. It usually lasts anywhere from a few seconds to half an hour and is generally accompanied by hallucinations.

Because Narcolepsy is not curable, the condition is treated symptomatically. This involves a strict sleep regime such as proper night-time sleep, avoidance of shift work and alcohol, and taking short scheduled naps throughout the day

The main drug therapy used in Narcolepsy is stimulants. Sufferers of this condition are also encouraged to drink more coffee and caffeinated drinks to help control their need for sleep.

In treating the auxiliary conditions of cataplexy, hallucinations and sleep paralysis, the person is often prescribed antidepressants

Prevention of the attacks is obviously a very important factor and can be assisted by simply following a sensible sleep regime at night, taking daytime naps where possible, avoiding heavy meals, and the intake of more caffeine.

Emotional support is another important factor. The person needs to have friends and family who can understand what is happening and not become upset by it, thus increasing the stress and anxiety that the person is probably already feeling. Obviously, if the person is married or in a relationship, their partner needs to be very understanding and supportive.

In summary, Narcolepsy is characterized by uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep. This may be accompanied by muscle weakness, hallucinations, and/or sleep paralysis. There is no cure and treatment is symptomatic. It is important to take preventative measures to avoid these episodes so that you can live a reasonably good lifestyle.

Copyright 2006 Anne Wolski

About The Author
Anne Wolski has worked in the health and welfare industry for over 30 years and is also co director of http://www.magnetic-health-online.com which is a health information portal of many interesting articles by people in the medical industry, as well as http://www.pharmacybyweb.com which has online physicians who can answer your medical questions.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd