Do you feel excessively sleepy during the day and are known to fall asleep at random times? These are symptoms of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects your sleeping pattern. While narcolepsy can affect people of any age, it is most common in individuals between the ages of 15 and 25. While there is no known cause of narcolepsy, it is believed that there is a certain gene that controls the production of a certain chemical that could signal the start of sleep and when to wake up. There are other possible causes that some scientists believe, such as that it is caused by a deficiency in the production of hypocretin. Narcolepsy can negatively affect your social and professional life because it causes you to be excessively sleepy throughout the day. You will feel too tired to do anything throughout the day and your sleep attacks will make you fall asleep at the most inappropriate times.
Narcolepsy will also cause sleep paralysis, cataplexy, and even hallucinations. Sleep paralysis is a brief moment of paralysis when either trying to fall asleep or wake up. While these experiences can be quite frightening, they only last a few seconds to a couple of minutes and you will be able to move regularly right after. Cataplexy is the sudden loss of muscle tone and voluntary muscle control that leaves you feeling weak. This symptom is mostly triggered by intense emotions, such as anger or surprise, and can even cause you to lose total control of your body for a short period of time. The hallucinations can occur either when you are about to sleep or when you are about to fall asleep, they can be very vivid and frightening. At Sleep Services of Maryland we are here to help you control the symptoms so that they don’t affect your life too much. We will create the perfect sleep treatment plan just for you.