The more you know about Narcolepsy
It is hard to tell if someone suffers from Narcolepsy, though you know most people are with a staggering
1 in 2000 affected individuals worldwide, equaling around 3.8 million potential suffers in 2017. Though this number could be higher as only half of suffers are actually diagnosed and only a quarter of that half are undergoing regular advanced treatment. These symptoms typically begin early in life from 10 years old onwards but rarely occur over 30 years of age.
The norm for sleeping hours is 8, but when you have narcolepsy it can range from 12 hours to an extreme of 20 hours.
Initially described as patients with a sleepy disposition who suddenly fall fast asleep’ by Thomas Willis (1621-1675).
Is it genetic? – We are still working on figuring out the underlying reasons for this disorder and how it affects your autoimmunity and why it lowers your hypocretin (a brain peptide that is important in regulating sleep, particularly REM sleep).
Is it a Disease? – Yes, it is a Neurological Sleep Disorder.
Is it a Disability? – Since it is so complex and we are not health professionals, we cannot accurately define this.
Can I drive with this? – You can, but it is all about how well you can manage your symptoms. Clearly, it is essential that by allowing you to drive you will not cause an intolerable risk to you and to other members of the greater community.
How does it affect your diet? – lifestyle and diet can play a significant role in managing your Narcolepsy. Apart from a sound Sleep Hygiene regimen, a sound balanced diet together with moderate control of the consumption of alcohol, stopping smoking and reducing weight all contribute to the better management of Narcolepsy on 98% of all cases.
Will I become depressed? – It is often a concurrent issue with Narcolepsy sufferers. This means that one may cause the other or that they are coexisting conditions at varying levels of severity. We highly recommend that you consult with your Doctor, Sleep Specialist, and Psychologist/Psychiatrist to explore this issue.