Effects of Narcolepsy


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Evidently, Narcolepsy, like all sleep disorders, can be seriously threatening to your lifestyle. Its unpredictable nature can hamper activities and make you feel disabled by affecting relationships be they at home or at work. Prior to diagnosis narcoleptics may experience relationship problems with family members, employers and so on by the mistake that their sleepiness and fatigue is a sign of laziness, disinterest and antagonism. Even once diagnosed, there are many psychological issues particularly since the disorder is generally lifelong. The symptoms may be reduced with time but generally the excessive daytime sleepiness remains the same.

Proneness to Accidents

Due to its variable, abrupt nature, narcolepsy suffers are at great risk of accidents, even if they are aware of their disorder. Nearly 3/4’s of narcolepsy suffers have been reported to have fallen asleep driving their car at some point and this is evidently a serious issue. It is vitally important that if you experience any signs of excessive sleepiness or cataplexy, that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery as you could cause serious injury to yourself or someone else. Immediate medical intervention is required.

Poor Attention Span

The lack of sleep and disturbed nights that may be experienced for narcolepsy sufferers can begin to take its toll on them mentally during the day, regardless of whether they have attacks or not. They may begin to feel as though they have a short attention-span, struggling to concentrate on anything for long periods of time which adds another potential hazard with regard to driving and it may be advised to refrain from driving if you do experience excessive sleepiness as this too can be very dangerous. Equally, lack of attention may affect work and social life especially if the memory is affected. If given time to learn memory skills it has been noted that responses can become more positive.

Headaches & Obesity

Many Narcoleptics also experience headaches, often turning into migraines which is probably mostly due to the lack of sleep and the strain the brain is put under with the hallucinations and fatigue. Additionally, narcolepsy can be linked with obesity due to the lack of the protein hypocretin which also controls eating and could increase appetite levels.


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