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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    105 Responses to “Medical Minute: Narcolepsy”

    1. 1
      Trendsetter says:

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

    2. 2
      FeFe says:

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

    3. 3
    4. 4
      marquez269 says:

      :coffee:

      Good Morning Everyone!! :waves:

    5. 5
      marquez269 says:

      :coffee:

      Good Morning Everyone!! :waves:

    6. 6
      bnatural says:

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

    7. 7
      yallcrazy says:

      <–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:

    8. 8
      yallcrazy says:

      :hi: Good Morning Marquez

    9. 9
      yallcrazy says:

      :hi: Good Morning Marquez

    10. 10
      capricorn83 says:

      Welp….

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

      :coffee: <—to stay awake

    11. 11
      free says:

      [never mind....]

    12. 12
      yallcrazy says:

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

    13. 13
      yallcrazy says:

      free says:

      [never mind....]

      :popcorn:

    14. 14
      BoogieNites says:

      boredom? :yes:
      narcolepsy? :no:

    15. 15
      MZ_CARAM3L74 says:

      MERNIN ROSES! :coffee:

    16. 16
      FeFe says:

      :hi: @Smurfette

    17. 17
      IamK_Antoinette says:

      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

    18. 18
      prynsexxx says:

      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:

    19. 19
      lovezoe says:

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

    20. 20
      Secret says:

      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.

    21. 21
      NaijaGal says:

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

      daddy & daughter…cute

    22. 22
      FeFe says:

      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:

    23. 23
      prynsexxx says:

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

    24. 24
      FeFe says:

      :kiss: @Naija hey sugah..

    25. 25
      Trendsetter says:

      Hi NaijaGal :waves:

    26. 26
      Phrozen1der says:

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

    27. 27
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    28. 28
      yallcrazy says:

      :whistle: @Phro :lol:

    29. 29
      Phrozen1der says:

      @Yall :hugs:

    30. 30
      Anna says:

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

    31. 31

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

    32. 32
      DaJazzyJazz1 says:

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

    33. 33
      yallcrazy says:

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

      #ikidikid

      :welcome: Jazzy!

    34. 34
      yallcrazy says:

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

    35. 35
      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

    36. 36
      candibfly says:

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

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

    37. 37
      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

    38. 38
      candibfly says:

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

    39. 39
      mrsloveleigh says:

      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.

    40. 40

      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:

    41. 41

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

    42. 42
      goat76 says:

      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.

    43. 43
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    44. 44
      candibfly says:

      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:

    45. 45
      Anna says:

      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.

    46. 46
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    47. 47
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    48. 48
      marquez269 says:

      @yall
      :hahaha:

    49. 49
      boistop says:

      Good Mornting
      :hi:

    50. 50
      lovezoe says:

      We off topic yet?

    51. 51

      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:

    52. 52

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

    53. 53
      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:

    54. 54
      Phrozen1der says:

      “This bish is shaking the table” :rofl:

    55. 55
      brownskin A.K.A Creamy says:

      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:

    56. 56

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

      she just made her 6 month anniversary

    57. 57
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    58. 58
      yallcrazy says:

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

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

    59. 59
      lovezoe says:

      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.

    60. 60
      !*LaKErCHiC@*! says:

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

    61. 61
      Bella's Master says:

      @yall

      :think:

      Nahhhh…. I stand by my initial assessment

    62. 62
      yallcrazy says:

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

    63. 63
      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.

    64. 64

      yallcrazy says:

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

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

    65. 65
      candibfly says:

      man fvck dook

      now that we got that out the way :dance:

    66. 66
      yallcrazy says:

      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:

    67. 67
      lovezoe says:

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

    68. 68
      yallcrazy says:

      candibfly says:

      man fvck dook

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

    69. 69
      howmanylicks_07untiluswallow says:

      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.

    70. 70
      brownskin A.K.A Creamy says:

      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:

    71. 71
      yallcrazy says:

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

      #hoopdreams :lol:

    72. 72
      Phrozen1der says:

      @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! ;)

    73. 73
      yallcrazy says:

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

    74. 74
      IamK_Antoinette says:

      Phrozen

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

    75. 75
      !*LaKErCHiC@*! says:

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

    76. 76
      KDub says:

      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:

    77. 77
      Bella's Master says:

      @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

    78. 78
      IamK_Antoinette says:

      Pretty grils wear 20 pearls *Stands under Umbrella*

    79. 79
      Phrozen1der says:

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

    80. 80
      cougar lover says:

      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.

    81. 81
      BoogieNites says:

      candibfly says:

      man fvck dook

      now that we got that out the way

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

    82. 82
      Phrozen1der says:

      @Iam ;)

    83. 83
      lovezoe says:

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

    84. 84
      yallcrazy says:

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

      and :hug:

    85. 85
      NaijaGal says:

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

      Phro – sup

    86. 86
      lovezoe says:

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

    87. 87
      boistop says:

      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:

    88. 88
      lovezoe says:

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

    89. 89
      mzwhang90210 says:

      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

    90. 90
      IamK_Antoinette says:

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

    91. 91
      Phrozen1der says:

      @Naija @MzW :waves:

    92. 92
      KDub says:

      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.

    93. 93
      lovezoe says:

      @Iam- This is true. :hugs:

    94. 94
      Phrozen1der says:

      @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.

    95. 95
      IamK_Antoinette says:

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

    96. 96
      IamK_Antoinette says:

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

    97. 97
      IamK_Antoinette says:

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

    98. 98
      yallcrazy says:

      Bella, I’m back :grill:

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

    99. 99
      greykidd says:

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

    100. 100
      Sandra Rose says:

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

    101. 101
      Sandra Rose says:

      Phrozen1der says:

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

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

    102. 102
      Sandra Rose says:

      @ 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:

    103. 103
      Sandra Rose says:

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

    104. 104
      Mojo says:

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

    105. 105
      cocoa49 says:

      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……

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