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Do you feel excessive daytime sleepiness ? Do you have disturbed nocturnal sleeps or insomnia? Are you suffering from rapid eye movements? If you answered yes, then you may have narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a type of dyssomnia. Dyssomnia is a type of sleeping disorder that either makes the person unable to sleep or leads to excessive sleeping. Narcolepsy is primarily related to disorders of excessive sleeping and is characterized by the amount, time and quality of sleep. It causes frequent naps during the day. After the short nap, the person feels refreshed, but this feeling lasts for a few moments only and the drowsiness reappears. A person with excessive daytime sleepiness is likely to become sleepy and will fall asleep at uncomfortable places and locations. This daytime sleepiness categorically affects the patient's personal and professional life. Nocturnal sleep also occurs in fragments and person suffers from continuous awakenings. Other varied symptoms that do not occur in all people are:

Sleep Paralysis: Sleep paralysis is the fatigue kind of condition when the person feels unable to move or talk after waking up from sleep. The agonizing symptom may last for a few seconds or for several minutes. Hypnogogic hallucinations: Hypnogogic hallucinations are dream like experiences that occur while dozing and are often frightening. Cataplexy: Cataplexy is a divided condition, which causes drooping facial muscles or incapability to speak clearly, slight weakness causing flabbiness at the neck or knees, and sooner or later complete body collapse. This condition lasts from few moments to several minutes and starts due to sudden emotional reactions such as laughter, anger, surprise or fear. The person remains conscious throughout the episode, although there is inability of muscle function. Automatic behavior: Automatic behavior is all about doing things in a dazed state and not recalling the work done at this stage. The person may change the location of things, keeping them here and there, and talks to people without remembering anything on waking up. Automatic behavior has been experienced by 40% of narcolepsy patients.

Sleep paralysis, daytime sleepiness, and hypnagogic hallucinations also occur in people who do not have narcolepsy. Studies have shown that up to 40% of narcolepsy patients are suffering from this disorder due to the following two reasons: excessive sleeping during the day and consumption of caffeine and energy drinks. The symptoms of narcolepsy, especially the excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy, often become severe enough to cause serious problems in a person's social, personal, and professional life. Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition, which can be usually be controlled with medication. Still there is no known cure of narcolepsy. People who have narcolepsy are advised to avoid jobs that require lengthy time of concentration. One should also avoid long drives to the work place.

To learn more about the diagnosis, treatment and causes of narcolepsy, please visit Narcolepsy Information []

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