Medical Minute: Narcolepsy

It isn’t often that a child falls asleep during important meetings, such as signing her first recording contract with Jay Z, or nodding off during a Senate hearing on human trafficking, like Willow Smith has done.

Narcolepsy means excessive sleepiness or falling asleep at the most inopportune times.

Children with narcolepsy often are not diagnosed with the sleep disorder until they are well into their teens or adulthood, when the disorder becomes a health issue or a distraction.

Parents assume that children with narcolepsy are simply tired from exerting too much energy during play. The parent doesn’t think much of it when the school calls to report the child is falling asleep during class, or sleeping while standing in line.

The disorder doesn’t become a problem until the teenage or adult narcoleptic accepts a job that requires mental alertness, such as driving a school bus full of children.

It is important to diagnose narcolepsy early in children in order to prevent problems later on, such as applying for vital jobs where mental alertness is key.

News anchors who experience slurred speech while on the air may be narcoleptics.

Signs and symptoms

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) (even after a good night’s sleep)
  • Nodding off several times a day
  • Slurred speech, or senseless speech
  • Excessive yawning
  • Drowsiness that persists for prolonged periods of time
  • Slight weakness in body joints (knees buckling)
  • Sagging facial muscles, or inability to speak clearly
  • Sleep walking, or talking during sleep
  • Sleep paralysis, or hallucinations
  • Only about 20 to 25 percent of people with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, muscle weakness, sleep paralysis and hallucinations at the same time. A select few narcoleptics also experience heightened senses of taste and smell.

    Many children or adults with narcolepsy also suffer from insomnia. Narcolepsy is often diagnosed when the symptoms become severe enough to cause serious problems in a person’s social, personal, and professional life.

    When a normal person first falls asleep, the brain waves become slower and less regular, and the person slips into a dream state called REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. The REM (dream) stage normally occurs about an hour after falling asleep.

    But individuals with Narcolepsy experience the REM stage upon falling asleep or 5 minutes after falling asleep.

    A child should be evaluated for narcolepsy if he or she falls asleep multiple times a day, and he or she is able to recall vivid dreams after only being asleep for 5 or 10 minutes.

    Cause of Narcolepsy

    Scientists believe that narcolepsy is caused by the body’s auto-immune response to protein changes in the brain. The protein, called hypocretin or orexin, is responsible for controlling appetite and sleep patterns.

    In 2004 researchers in Australia induced narcolepsy-like symptoms in mice by injecting them with antibodies from narcoleptic humans. Some scientists believe that the gene that makes individuals susceptible to narcolepsy might be inherited.

    Diagnosis

    Narcolepsy is mainly diagnosed during sleep tests performed by a sleep specialist. The sleep tests are conducted at Sleep Centers or in local hospitals. An overnight stay is usually required to perform the sleep tests.

    The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a brief questionnaire that is given to outpatient individuals to determine if they have sleep disorders.

    Treatment

    There is no known cure for narcolepsy. Narcoleptics will experience excessive sleepiness for the rest of their lives. The symptoms can be treated with medications such as stimulants to keep the brain alert. Medications include stimulants, non-stimulants and antidepressants.

    In addition to drug therapy, schools can schedule 10 or 15 minute naps for children who are narcoleptics. Some employees are sympathetic to workers with sleep disorders, and will schedule naps two to three times a day for the worker.

    This has been your Medical Minute.

    More Info on the Web

    Narcolepsy – PubMed Health

    Narcolepsy – Web MD

    Narcolepsy – Mayo Clinic

    Narcolepsy – Wikipedia

    DISCLAIMER

    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Sandrarose.com and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following advice found on this blog.


    More from Sandrarose.com:

  • Medical Minute: Ovary transplants may end infertility and menopause
  • Medical Minute: Postpartum Depression
  • fanMAIL – Re: Narcissism
  • Medical Minute: Male Menopause


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    • Trendsetter

      Well I have a sleeping disorder as well. I was diagnosed with Hypersomnia back in 2009.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY FeFe

      :lol: I used to think I had this problem years ago…I’d fall asleep in class so fast when I was in college…

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/db78ef2b213fd6958c1aa6773fe9a6dc?s=80 jeniefrumdabloc

      :tea:

    • marquez269

      :coffee:

      Good Morning Everyone!! :waves:

    • marquez269

      :coffee:

      Good Morning Everyone!! :waves:

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPgpRw9tiuM bnatural

      :rofl: She’s only 11… Will looks like he’s trying to hang on himself….

    • yallcrazy

      <–Can fall asleep anywhere :shrug:
      —————-
      On Topic: People should get checked out because if your brain doesn't get the proper amount of oxygen during sleep–Well it ain't a good thing! :no:

    • yallcrazy

      :hi: Good Morning Marquez

    • yallcrazy

      :hi: Good Morning Marquez

    • capricorn83

      Welp….

      I experience excessive daytime sleepiness every day that I step into my office…

      :coffee: <—to stay awake

    • free

      [never mind….]

    • yallcrazy

      :waves: <–Strictly for poster #'s 0-10 :lol:

    • yallcrazy

      free says:

      [never mind….]

      :popcorn:

    • BoogieNites

      boredom? :yes:
      narcolepsy? :no:

    • MZ_CARAM3L74

      MERNIN ROSES! :coffee:

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY FeFe

      :hi: @Smurfette

    • IamK_Antoinette

      Leave this child alone. I used to doze off every sunday at church & in class. when something is boring its boring! what 11 year old would be interested in that type of stuff anyways plus Will looks like he is trying to keep is blood shot eye open too

    • prynsexxx

      Morning EVERYBODY :hi:

      My sis says she was diagnosed with it, when she fell asleep in a meeting at work one day. :shrug:

      My co-worker (who favors Peter off of Family Guy) went to get checked for it AFTER my supervisor caught her asleep at her desk. :rolleyes:

    • lovezoe

      So Willow is ON limits, but the Harris clan is OFF limits, right?

    • Secret

      I have insomnia. But in Willow’s case this hearing was just probably boring to her. We all have done it at some time or another.

    • NaijaGal

      yallcray, FeFe, Prynn, Trend et al
      :waves:

      daddy & daughter…cute

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY FeFe

      I still enjoy taking naps in the daytime, it’s refreshing…

      And I yawn ALL the time, but I think I got that from my dad, he’s an excessive yawner…

      Maybe I have narcolepsy… :shrugs:

    • prynsexxx

      I wonder if Tyra Banks would approve of her “neck” in the above pic? LOL

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgWgEoaAYDY FeFe

      :kiss: @Naija hey sugah..

    • Trendsetter

      Hi NaijaGal :waves:

    • Phrozen1der

      Well I’m sleepy now,and I’m ret to go to bed….. :lol:

    • yallcrazy

      lovezoe says:

      So Willow is ON limits, but the Harris clan is OFF limits, right?

      :award: :lol:
      ======================
      Naija :hug:

      :waves: <–this next batch of hellos is only for posters 11-23 :lol:

    • yallcrazy

      :whistle: @Phro :lol:

    • Phrozen1der

      @Yall :hugs:

    • Anna

      Jada & Willow were on GMA yesterday. Willow was distracted then, but awake. :lol:

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/db78ef2b213fd6958c1aa6773fe9a6dc?s=80 jeniefrumdabloc

      I was feeling Willow this morning myself :yawn: Tired. com

    • DaJazzyJazz1

      The wikipedia description of this disorder is very sketchy….especially since it is not a sleep disorder, it is actually a neurological disorder

    • yallcrazy

      Well, we’ve got a Doctor in the building now :rofl:

      #ikidikid

      :welcome: Jazzy!

    • yallcrazy

      :zzz: I thought this one would be post-appropriate :kona:

    • IamK_Antoinette

      :offtopic: so this is the second week in a row I come to work & this girl is cooking a FULL COURSE meal. Our kitchen is used for when we have clients and lunch hour. she is new but damn. make your breakfast at home, work starts at 9am. You don’t come to work at 9am then spend 20 min frying your egg whites and bacon WTF! Our boss doesn’t come into work until 11:30 maybe I’m over reacting because I wake up early so I can make & eat breakfast BEFORE I get to work. White people do ratchet things too I had to rant

    • candibfly

      or nodding off during a Senate hearing on human trafficking
      —————–

      pretty sure most kids would doze off during this :shrugs:

    • Bella’s Master

      I’m gonna start sending Auntie pics of me so she can diagnose me. I’m tired of spending money on tests!!

      #phuckyoobamacare

    • candibfly

      anyway i ain’t worried bout lil scoop ball head, where the party at? :shakebutt:

    • mrsloveleigh

      I’m with whoever said Will looks like he’s barely holding on. I’m sure that was a boring meeting and most of what was said was over her head. Not a good look though. That’s why you have handlers to take her back to the room.

    • http://www.landofpure.net Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:)

      had a coworker with this. she has to take amphetamines the rest of her life :coffee:

      GM yall. granny clampit just made the biggest breakfast. eggs, biscuits, bacon, grits, hashbrowns, tomato gravy, regular gravy, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, melons. chile i ill SLEEPY nah! :zzz:

    • http://www.landofpure.net Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:)

      before she was diagnosed she had a terrible car accident & almost died. she fell asleep driving :(

    • goat76

      I fall asleep while I’m gettin my teeth cleaned, or on the traction table getting my Disc decompression therapy. Pretty much any laying down or reclining it’s ova wit.

    • yallcrazy

      IamK_Antoinette says:

      :offtopic: so this is the second week in a row I come to work & this girl is cooking a FULL COURSE meal. Our kitchen is used for when we have clients and lunch hour. she is new but damn. make your breakfast at home, work starts at 9am. You don’t come to work at 9am then spend 20 min frying your egg whites and bacon WTF! Our boss doesn’t come into work until 11:30 maybe I’m over reacting because I wake up early so I can make & eat breakfast BEFORE I get to work. White people do ratchet things too I had to rant
      ————–
      K, just chill! and make that bish your friend :yes: You’ll have it made it the shade, with breakfast every morning.

      I’d be right next to her in the morning peeking over her shoulder talmbout “whatchu cooking US this morning?” :lol:

    • candibfly

      i mean sometimes u sleepy and can’t help it. even presidents (clinton and bush come to mind) been caught sleeping. shooot i was sleep at this off site meeting and one of the upper mgmnt was talkin, they had to tell someone to tap me to wake me up :ashamed: i mean the bytch was boring #aintmyfault :nono:

    • Anna

      IamK_Antoinette says:

      so this is the second week in a row I come to work & this girl is cooking a FULL COURSE meal. Our kitchen is used for when we have clients and lunch hour. she is new but damn. make your breakfast at home, work starts at 9am. You don’t come to work at 9am then spend 20 min frying your egg whites and bacon WTF! Our boss doesn’t come into work until 11:30 maybe I’m over reacting because I wake up early so I can make & eat breakfast BEFORE I get to work. White people do ratchet things too I had to rant

      ~~~~~~~~
      Wow, the man who pays my salary does not care for food smells, I’m scared to use the microwave.

    • yallcrazy

      Bella’s Master says:

      I’m gonna start sending Auntie pics of me so she can diagnose me. I’m tired of spending money on tests!!

      #phuckyoobamacare
      ==========
      Or you can look for a job with a GOOD BENEFIT PACKAGE :grill:

    • yallcrazy

      Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:) says:

      had a coworker with this. she has to take amphetamines the rest of her life :coffee:

      GM yall. granny clampit just made the biggest breakfast. eggs, biscuits, bacon, grits, hashbrowns, tomato gravy, regular gravy, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, melons. chile i ill SLEEPY nah! :zzz:

      *busting corners* :steer: See, that’s that the fukc I’m talmbout! Here I come :lol:

    • marquez269

      @yall
      :hahaha:

    • http://Apr0424.wordpress.com boistop

      Good Mornting
      :hi:

    • lovezoe

      We off topic yet?

    • http://www.landofpure.net Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:)

      K, just chill! and make that bish your friend :yes: You’ll have it made it the shade, with breakfast every morning.

      I’d be right next to her in the morning peeking over her shoulder talmbout “whatchu cooking US this morning?” :lol:

      :rofl: IKR! GM sug! :hug:

    • http://dawnsheen.blogspot.com/ Min Min Sheen (The artist formally kwn as Dawn Sheen)

      I had the clap once. I can identify. I missed several appointments with the cable guy waiting on my clap to clear up.

    • IamK_Antoinette

      ————–
      @yallcrazy K, just chill! and make that bish your friend You’ll have it made in the shade, with breakfast every morning.
      I’d be right next to her in the morning peeking over her shoulder talmbout “whatchu cooking US this morning?”
      —————
      You know what, You’re right! I do like egg whites :thinking:

    • Phrozen1der

      “This bish is shaking the table” :rofl:

    • brownskin A.K.A Creamy

      I read thisin the last post>>>>>>>>>>>>>>………….

      Min Min Sheen (The artist formally kwn as Dawn Sheen) says:

      Trendsetter says:

      The Dream engaged?????

      ———
      Yes, I read this in the Toys R Us circular… Teddy Ruxpen is getting married to a Care bear… the wedding will air on the cartoon network.

      _______________________________________________

      “Dawn” why must she font :wail: chile bye :rofl:

    • http://www.landofpure.net Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:)

      YALL :rofl: that heffa tryin not to get fired #jobsecurity

      she just made her 6 month anniversary

    • yallcrazy

      IamK_Antoinette says:

      ————–
      @yallcrazy K, just chill! and make that bish your friend You’ll have it made in the shade, with breakfast every morning.
      I’d be right next to her in the morning peeking over her shoulder talmbout “whatchu cooking US this morning?”
      —————
      You know what, You’re right! I do like egg whites :thinking:
      ===============
      That’s the ticket! :thumbsup:

      :rofl: #youowemesomethingnow :lol: <–wide open! #ikidikid :hug:

    • yallcrazy

      :grill: <–Granny Clampit walking around and ish :rofl:

      ==================
      Who Phro?!?! :lol:

    • lovezoe

      Phrozen- I was WEAK when she did that! Then my soror had to run to the bathroom. Hope she dont wear her letters on the show.

    • !*LaKErCHiC@*!

      :zzz: I ALWAYZ FALLS ASLEEP IN THE CARE LIKE A FUKN BABY :pacifier:

    • Bella’s Master

      @yall

      :think:

      Nahhhh…. I stand by my initial assessment

    • yallcrazy

      Anna, my boss is very frugal (VERY)… He heats up whatever to eat :lol: #microwavecouldwalkonitsown!
      I’ll trade you! :rofl:

    • KDub

      <<< Insomniac

      *Inherited from the non sleeping azz mofockas on DaddyDub side of the family. HIM, His Grandma, MY grandmother, 2 of my cousins (that I know of), 1 of his aunts, 2 of his brothers and MY brother. The ish is REAL. I done been to the Duke Insomnia and Sleep Research Program (DISRP) and everything…life is hard when you sleepy as fugg all the time.

    • http://www.landofpure.net Fayla aka IWhipIt..WhipItRealGood:)

      yallcrazy says:

      :grill: <–Granny Clampit walking around and ish :rofl:

      :rofl: :rofl: she damn shole ill YALL #hilare

    • candibfly

      man fvck dook

      now that we got that out the way :dance:

    • yallcrazy

      Bella’s Master says:

      @yall

      :think:

      Nahhhh…. I stand by my initial assessment
      =================
      Bella, my dear :grill: , Please don’t tell me you’re part of the problem :shrug:

      *yells out PPO in this bish* :dead:

    • lovezoe

      I barely make it past 10pm these days. #lovesleep

    • yallcrazy

      candibfly says:

      man fvck dook

      now that we got that out the way :dance:
      ==============
      Just don’t paw nobody today :rofl:

    • howmanylicks_07untiluswallow

      Sandra, what do you have against this little girl or the Smiths cause you is on their tails? Inquiring minds def. want to know.

      Also, has anyone seen the Noami Campbell is going to have a show on Oxygen called “Face”. It’s going to be like Top Model maybe better but I know Tyra in the corner somewhere crying.

    • brownskin A.K.A Creamy

      KDub says:

      <<< Insomniac

      *Inherited from the non sleeping azz mofockas on DaddyDub side of the family. HIM, His Grandma, MY grandmother, 2 of my cousins (that I know of), 1 of his aunts, 2 of his brothers and MY brother. The ish is REAL. I done been to the Duke Insomnia and Sleep Research Program (DISRP) and everything…life is hard when you sleepy as fugg all the time.

      __________________________________________________________

      changing your eating habits will help with this alot, it may sound crazy but it will. :yes:

    • yallcrazy

      Zoe, I wish for a day where I could be asleep by 9! :ashamed: and sleep till 9…

      #hoopdreams :lol:

    • Phrozen1der

      @Yall I just wanted to say it :lol:

      @Zoe They got her outta there cause she has more to lose I feel..trying to rebuild a rep that she aint crazy aint a good look when you wrecking in a bar… #OneTime for BADST tho! ;)

    • yallcrazy

      Also losing weight is supposed to help with sleep apnea (which I think leades to narc). I said I THINK… :coffee:

    • IamK_Antoinette

      Phrozen

      “This bish is shaking the table” :rofl:
      _____________
      :rofl: :rofl:

    • !*LaKErCHiC@*!

      LOVE I BE SLEEP BEFORE 9PM MOST NIGHTS.. IM A HOMEBODY THO.. I LIKES MY CAT NAPS :zzz:

    • KDub

      changing your eating habits will help with this alot, it may sound crazy but it will.
      —————————————————
      You musta missed my post on my array of food allergies. So I can’t change MUCH or my azz will STAH-VE to DEF. :wail:

      Fish
      Nut allergy
      Eggs
      NOT supposed to eat dairy or red meat…

      Chicken, fruits, rice and veggies is a SAD azz existence. Even for a chicken and watamelon loving nigra like myself :no:

    • Bella’s Master

      @yall
      Tell me what the problem is and I will tell you if I’m apart of it

      My problem is the $1000+ I shell out in taxes every month

      In any case… It was just me making a joke like I try to do in many cases on here

    • IamK_Antoinette

      Pretty grils wear 20 pearls *Stands under Umbrella*

    • Phrozen1der

      @KWall I recently had to switch to a Gluten free diet myself and EVERYTHING taste like rubberbands to me #Dreadful :lol:

    • cougar lover

      Yaaay! I usta tell women that I would fall asleep in that puzzi. Then when i get over to they place, get em named and the, just stick the head. I would fall asleep in that warm stone wettery, and they would get mad after they made the assumption that i would hit it so good id fall asleep during the act of a passionate session. Now i know that it is a medical condition, i can bring my doctors note and get off without any discord, or name slandering.

    • BoogieNites

      candibfly says:

      man fvck dook

      now that we got that out the way

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      :stop:
      :nana:

    • Phrozen1der

      @Iam ;)

    • lovezoe

      Lakes- Lucas goes to bed for the night about 10 and wakes up about 2.5 half times. I be dragging all day,.

    • yallcrazy

      I ain’t got time right now Bella, there is a BIG **** :newpost: up now….

      and :hug:

    • NaijaGal

      …but LOVEZOE I think security escorted her to the restroom and made her stay there

      Phro – sup

    • lovezoe

      Iam- I wont shade you today and give you a Greek history lesson. :)

    • http://Apr0424.wordpress.com boistop

      Chicken, fruits, rice and veggies is a SAD azz existence. Even for a chicken and watamelon loving nigra like myself
      ——–
      This ish right here
      :hahaha:

    • lovezoe

      Naja- It did look like that, but I thought as soon as she threw the napkin, she got up and walked towards the bathroom.

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/a19fc5b0a5b0a826c0a201b8ac191b35.png mzwhang90210

      GM Sandra! ( I emailed you an article about Michael Clarke Duncan’s g/f Amorosa, saving him from having a heart attack. Did you get it?)

      GM SR family!

      :waves: @ yallcrazy :nana:
      Jenn
      Phro
      Creamy
      LoveZ
      FayFay :hug:
      KDub
      Laker
      FeFe
      Prynn
      Buh buh boogie
      anybody I missed [insert your name here]
      ___________________________________________________
      IamK_Antoinette says:

      so this is the second week in a row I come to work & this girl is cooking a FULL COURSE meal. Our kitchen is used for when we have clients and lunch hour. she is new but damn. make your breakfast at home, work starts at 9am. You don’t come to work at 9am then spend 20 min frying your egg whites and bacon WTF! Our boss doesn’t come into work until 11:30 maybe I’m over reacting because I wake up early so I can make & eat breakfast BEFORE I get to work. White people do ratchet things too I had to rant
      ____________________________________

      Chileeee…I’ll take that anyday over this Nigerian dude here…bassid warms up funky fish in the SMALL breakroom that we have. Everybody comes in droppin hints…holding noses..making faces. That rusty foot bassid pays em no mind..sits there smackin like he’s in front of his hut.
      #cantstandhisass

    • IamK_Antoinette

      @Love
      We are all one big family in the end. But every family has those Outstanding members ;)

    • Phrozen1der

      @Naija @MzW :waves:

    • KDub

      I take alot of naps if I CAN…but I cant sleep longer than 30-45 minutes. And I go to bed early but its continuous sleep that alludes me. I wake up every hour dayum near at night and then have trouble falling BACK asleep. I dont remember the last time I had a good 8-10 hour sleep without being medicated.

    • lovezoe

      @Iam- This is true. :hugs:

    • Phrozen1der

      @Zoe No they ushered outta there QUICK :lol: the trini girl has nothing to lose and alot to gain..K.Michelle don’t need that publicity as a come back artist.

    • IamK_Antoinette

      @MZ
      Clearly I need to stop complaining. Smelly fish EVERYDAY :hurl:

    • IamK_Antoinette

      Greek Unity !!!!…. until one of you “others” gets out of pocket :coffee:

    • IamK_Antoinette

      Her butt didn’t look lopsided to me though :shrug:

    • yallcrazy

      Bella, I’m back :grill:

      What I was doing was offering up the alternative to Obamacare (that you were complaining about) :shrug: #tisall

    • greykidd

      When u post these ridiculous stories are u looking for a reaction, Or is it just a slow news day?

    • http://sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

      @ greykidd: what’s ridiculous about this Medical Minute? Narcolepsy is very real, and can potentially cause a public hazard if not diagnosed.

    • http://sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

      Phrozen1der says:

      K.Michelle don’t need that publicity as a come back artist.
      __________________

      K michelle came back? When was she ever here? :shrug:

    • http://sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

      @ KDub: the naps are interrupting your normal sleep pattern at night. Stop napping during the day. Don’t eat or drink anything for 5 hours before you go to bed (so the digestive process doesn’t keep you awake). Take Melatonin supplements to help you reestablish a normal sleep pattern. And count backwards from 100 every night when u go to bed. You will be sleeping like a baby in no time. :yes:

    • http://sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

      @ mzwhang90210: yes, I got the email. Thank you. :)

    • Mojo

      LMAO!!!!! Bless Willow’s Heart :dead:

    • cocoa49

      My goodness, could it just be the child is tired? Or bored? Does every move or thing someone does have to have a medical reason? sigh……