Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that usually involves a person suddenly falling into a sleep state, without any warning. This sleep state usually lasts for a couple of minutes, after which the sufferer may wake up feeling refreshed. Research has found that in the sleep states of narcolepsy, a person immediately starts REM sleep, instead of starting in non-REM sleep and progressing to REM sleep. The other common symptom, cataplexy involves a sudden loss of muscle tone, without the loss of consciousness in response to a heightened emotion (e.g. anger, fear, excitement). People that suffer from this disease do not always experience all the symptoms.
Symptoms: sleep attacks, sleep paralysis, cataplexy and sleep-related hallucinations.
Who to consult: Dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath, pharmacist, sleep therapist.