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 Sleep  Holistic-online.com

Narcolepsy

Symptoms Of Narcolepsy

1. Sleepiness or excessive daytime sleepiness.

Excessive daytime sleepiness is the most important symptoms of narcolepsy. Those who suffer from narcolepsy experience an overwhelming and recurring need to sleep at times when they really want to be awake.

The appropriate definition of sleepiness is critical in the contest of defining narcolepsy. People often describe sleepiness as "feeling tired, fatigued, low energy, lazy, blah, sleepy;' etc.

"Excessive daytime sleepiness refers to a propensity to fall asleep, nod or doze easily in relaxed or sedentary situations, or a need to exert extra effort to avoid sleeping in these situations. One should exclude reports of "fatigue;" 'low energy;' etc, without a propensity for daytime sleep in the evaluation of sleepiness. In addition to just sleepiness, the excessive daytime sleepiness of narcolepsy or other sleep disorders can cause related symptoms, including poor memory, reduced concentration or attention, and irritability."

Jed E. Black, MD, Director of Stanford University Sleep Disorders and Research Clinic

A person with narcolepsy can suddenly fall into a sleep state with almost no warning whatsoever. Sleep attacks can occur at any time, even in mid-conversation, as many as ten times a day (even more, in some cases). These periods of sleep usually last only a matter of minutes, but in some cases sleep can continue for an hour or more. Afterwards, the person may feel refreshed, yet he or she may fall asleep again in a few minutes.

Although excessive daytime sleepiness is the hallmark symptom of narcolepsy, narcolepsy is the cause of sleepiness in only about 1% to 2% of those presenting with a complaint of sleepiness. Most of the patients with complaints of sleepiness will ultimately diagnosed with conditions such as obtaining of too little sleep or by more common medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea or periodic limb movement syndrome during sleep.

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