THE TRUTH ABOUT NARCOLEPSY
One problem with narcolepsy and similar sleep disorders is the accompanying stigma and confusion. This can prevent people from seeking treatment and alleviating their symptoms. Watch this video and dispel some common narcolepsy myths.
Busting Narcolepsy Myths
- An extremely detrimental myth is that narcolepsy isn’t a serious disease, but this could not be more wrong. Narcoleptics experience fatigue throughout the day and may also suffer from sleep paralysis, hallucinations, insomnia, memory lapses, depressed mood, and more. Many people with this condition are misdiagnosed with anxiety, depression, or ADD – it can take a decade for someone to be properly diagnosed.
- People with narcolepsy do not just suddenly fall asleep – or fall down. Movies have created exaggerated, inaccurate portrayals of life for those with narcolepsy. In reality, there are several warning signs before a “sleep attack” hits. Cataplexy is an associated symptom of narcolepsy that causes muscle weakness, but this condition is only present in around 10% of sufferers.
- Narcolepsy is not a rare sleep disorder, but instead is one of the most prominent in the U.S., affecting at least 1 in every 2,000 people. This rate is higher in many other countries, including Japan, where it affects 1 in 600.
- Contrary to popular belief, narcolepsy can affect children. Symptoms are different than what adults experience, but the vast majority of narcolepsy cases develop in the adolescent years. Today’s fast-paced culture, combined with the use of electronic devices at night, can mask narcolepsy symptoms since most children are not getting adequate sleep.
- More sleep is not enough to solve narcolepsy. Fragmented sleep is a common issue, as the brain sends mixed signals about when to sleep, and when to wake. Simply sleeping more will not affect this neurological disorder.
How We Can Help
Lifestyle changes and medicine can help manage narcolepsy. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to better sleep, and better lives. Call Sleep Dynamics at (848) 217-0240 if you think it’s time for sleep testing, or send us a message.