Narcolepsy: Sleep and Intense Feelings

Topics: Sleep, Narcolepsy, Sleep disorder Pages: 1 (291 words) Published: July 24, 2002
Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder distinguished by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sleep attacks. The disorder makes it difficult for you to stay awake for long periods of time, in spite of any situation. As many as 200,000 Americans have the disease, but only about 50,000 are diagnosed, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke. According to the (NIHDS) narcolepsy causes its victims to experience serious problems in their professional and personal lives. People may perceive them as lethargic and their performance at school or work may suffer. Narcolepsy also often affects intimate relationships. Extreme sleepiness may cause low sex drive or impotence, and people with narcolepsy may even fall asleep while making love. These problems may be further complicated by emotional difficulties. Intense feelings, such as anger or joy, can trigger some symptoms of narcolepsy, causing affected people to remove themselves from emotional interactions. Sleep attacks may result in physical harm to people with this disorder. If symptoms are not managed, victims may be at increased risk of car accidents, burns and cuts if they fall asleep while driving, smoking or preparing food.

Although narcolepsy has no cure, medications and lifestyle modifications can help manage the symptoms. Medications include Stimulants, Modafinil and Antidepressants. Lifestyle modifications are also important in managing the symptoms of narcolepsy. Victims may benefit from these steps:  Going to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.  Schedule several naps of 10 to 15 minutes each day.  Avoid caffeine and nicotine.

Support groups and counseling can also aid people with narcolepsy and their loved ones cope with the disorder this all according to the American sleeping disorders association, Center for narcolepsy and the national sleep association.
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