What is Narcolepsy?

 

This post is going to focus on the friends and families of those suffering with Narcolepsy. 

So, someone you know just got diagnosed – what does this mean? Let me tell you a story;
There is something in your brain called hypocretin, or orexin. When you don’t have enough of this neuropeptide in your brain, you have a hard time staying awake. That’s because this stuff regulates your wakefulness, and REM sleep. REM is when your dreams occur. This creates symptoms like excessive daytimes sleepiness (EDS), depression, sleep paralysis, Cataplexy, craving food at night, etc.

**Something many people don’t know about this condition is that it can also create insomnia-like symptoms. Because hypocretin regulates your sleep/wake cycle, the lack of it not only makes people sleepy, but it can also make it hard for them to go to sleep at night. This makes it that much harder to diagnose, and understand.

Symptoms are different in every case, and they can range from mild to extreme. Pretty straightforward, right?

Now, go support your diagnosed loved one and eat some ice cream or something.

 

Image from http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/narcolepsy/what-is-narcolepsy/science-of-narcolepsy

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