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 Sleep  Holistic-online.com

Narcolepsy

Symptoms Of Narcolepsy

2. Type of Sleep

While the sleep that results from narcolepsy looks like ordinary sleep, researchers have found at least one key difference. Normal sleep is a cyclical process that alternates between periods of rapid-eye-movement (REM) and non- rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep. During the NREM part of the cycle, the entire body slows down: pulse, breathing, blood pressure, and brain wave activity are all lowered. When the REM cycle begins, the body remains asleep, but the brain becomes significantly active; brain waves as recorded by an electroencephalograph (EEG) more closely resemble those of the waking brain. It is during REM sleep that most dreaming occurs.

In healthy individuals, sleep begins with the NREM phase. After sixty minutes or so of NREM sleep, REM sleep begins. A short time later, the entire cycle begins again. 
In a narcoleptic sleep attack, in contrast, researchers have found that REM sleep begins almost instantly, with no introductory NREM sleep. The precise significance of this is not yet understood, but it does provide a useful diagnostic tool as well as a clue for researchers to pursue in trying to understand this mysterious disorder.

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