default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Wake up to why you might be tired all the time

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:39 am, Fri May 16, 2014.

(BPT) - With busy schedules, it’s inevitable to feel sleepy once in a while. But habitually falling asleep during the day while watching TV, reading a book, or in the middle of having a conversation could be a sign of a serious sleep disorder known as narcolepsy.

An underdiagnosed medical condition

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. It affects an estimated one in 2,000 people in the United States, with symptoms typically appearing in early adulthood. Yet it is estimated that 50 percent or more patients with narcolepsy have not been diagnosed. According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, awareness of narcolepsy is low. One thousand members of the general public and 400 practicing physicians were surveyed about their knowledge of narcolepsy and its symptoms. Only 7 percent of members of the general public who had heard of the condition reported being “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about it relative to other chronic diseases. That number only increased to 24 percent among primary care physicians. The majority of people surveyed could not identify all five major symptoms of narcolepsy. In fact, studies have shown it may take 10 years or more for people with narcolepsy to receive a correct diagnosis.

“The symptoms of narcolepsy are not well-recognized, which can lead to misdiagnosis,” says Dr. Aatif M. Husain, professor of neurology at Duke University Medical Center.  “By becoming aware of the symptoms of narcolepsy, individuals can have more informed conversations with their doctors, which may help lead to quicker diagnosis.”

The symptoms of narcolepsy: more than daytime sleepiness

A recent study, in which researchers evaluated health care data of more than 9,000 narcolepsy patients compared to 46,000 controls, shows that people with narcolepsy are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other conditions including sleep apnea, stroke and heart failure compared to the general population. There are five major symptoms of narcolepsy. Talk to a doctor if one or more sound familiar.

* Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) – EDS, the primary symptom of narcolepsy, is characterized by the inability to stay awake and alert during the day resulting in unplanned lapses into sleep or drowsiness; EDS is present in all people with narcolepsy.

* Cataplexy (muscle weakness with emotions) – A sudden, brief loss of muscle strength triggered by strong emotions like happiness, laughter, surprise, or anger.

* Sleep disruption – Frequent periods of waking up during sleep.

* Sleep paralysis – A brief inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up.

* Hypnogogic hallucinations – Vivid, dream-like events that occur when falling asleep or waking up.

These symptoms vary from person to person and not all five symptoms must be present for a narcolepsy diagnosis. It is also important that family and friends understand these symptoms, as they may observe them and encourage their loved ones to seek medical advice sooner.

Seek information from a sleep specialist

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s important to talk to a doctor and visit www.waymorethantired.com to learn more about narcolepsy, find a sleep specialist and watch videos to hear from patients with narcolepsy talk about their condition.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists