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10 Signs of Narcolepsy

Kimberly Love

As a rule of thumb, in order for something to work properly, it needs to be cared for, maintained and repaired whenever necessary. When it comes to your car, it will need gas, regular tune-ups, and oil changes in order to work and function properly. Your computer; it needs to be checked for viruses, updated with new software and kept in a warm, dry place in order for it to work.

Similar steps and precautions are needed for most things; like your lawnmower, your furnace and perhaps most importantly, yourself.

It many ways the human body can be likened to a machine. In order for a machine to a work it needs a power source or fuel; similarly our bodies need food in order to function. Machines can often wear out parts over time; comparably, our bodies can sometimes fail us, with bones needing mending and even organs being replaced. And much like machines which should not operate 24/7, so do our bodies need rest, which we get in the form of sleep. However, it is at this point where the similarities between man and machine begin to diverge.

While a machine is turned off and ‘resting,’ it is ultimately in a stagnant state. However, when a human is resting, they are far from being stagnant. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

Sleep has been proven to improve brain function across the board. It is while you sleep that your brain prepares itself for the following day; forming new pathways and connections in order to learn and recall information. And while we cannot speak on your behalf, when it comes to us, trying to learn anything new when tired is a chore. However, it isn’t only mental clarity and cognitive abilities that sleep can affect.

Physical health is also directly impacted by our sleep habits. Sleep is involved in the healing and preparing of the heart and blood vessels. Prolonged sleep deficiency has been linked to heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Sleep also helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones throughout the body, which promotes well being, proper body function, and even growth and development. Even our immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.

However, what happens when a person can’t control a vital function to their well-being? And even more interesting, what happens when it is an inherently healthy function?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s control of their sleep and wakefulness. It is typically characterized by sudden sleep attacks that can occur during any type of activity at any time of day.

In a typical sleep cycle, a person will enter into the deeper stages of sleep, or REM sleep, after about 90 minutes. A person who suffers from narcolepsy, however, enters into REM sleep almost immediately, which is one of the root causes for many of the symptoms of narcolepsy.

But what are the symptoms and behavior should you be on the lookout for if you are having concerns? Well, look no further, for here are the 10 most common symptoms associated with narcolepsy.

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