Understanding More About the Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia


People with sleeping problems do not know they have a problem until their physician tells them. For instance, you might have difficulty falling asleep and it can be serious to the extent that it affects your productivity at work because you fall asleep at work due to a lack of enough sleep at night. Others may have narcolepsy where they feel drowsy and fall asleep immediately. In this case, the condition is dangerous, especially if you are working and the job you are participating in requires total alertness and attention, like driving. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of the above-described sleeping disorders and seek treatment, narcolepsy Glendale specialists are here to your rescue. They help diagnose narcolepsy and other sleep disorders and treat them by combining stress management, healthy lifestyles, and medications. To learn more about narcolepsy and hypersomnia, read below.

What is narcolepsy?

Generally, narcolepsy is described as a chronic illness that makes you suddenly fall asleep or feel exhausted. Typically, there are two types of narcolepsia. They are type 1 and 2 narcolepsia. Type 1 narcolepsy occurs due to cataplexy, commonly described as a sudden loss of muscle tone. On the other hand, type 2 narcolepsy presents as other sleep-related symptoms.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy and hypersomnia?

Examples of narcolepsy symptoms include unintentional napping, sleep paralysis, excessive daytime sleepiness, and sudden muscle tone loss, especially when angry or laughing. You might also begin experiencing hallucinations while waking up or falling asleep if you have narcolepsy. For instance, you may begin seeing strange shadows of people on the wall who seem to be looking at you. The symptoms of hypersomnia include naps that are not refreshing, excessive sleepiness during the day and symptoms of sleep inertia. You also experience excessive sleepiness during the day when you have hypersomnia. Hypersomnia differs from narcolepsy because the daytime naps in hypersomnia are usually not refreshing.

What are the causes of hypersomnia and narcolepsy?

Usually, the underlying cause of narcolepsy is still unknown. However, people diagnosed with type 1 narcolepsy are said to contain low hypocretin levels and a neurochemical responsible for regulating wakefulness and REM sleep. Others argue that genetics also play a role in you developing narcolepsy. However, the likelihood of a parent passing the gene causing narcolepsy is about one percent. But people suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness like CNS hypersomnia may be common in people with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injuries, Lewy body dementia, or tumors of the hypothalamus.

How is narcolepsy diagnosed?

The type of diagnostic test performed depends on your symptoms, age, and medical history. Some of the sleep studies performed include:

·         Multiple sleep latency test

It is a test performed during the day and involves determining how long it takes for you to fall asleep and how fast you start dreaming. Your sleep partners are monitored, and if you fall asleep quickly, you get narcolepsy.

·         Polysomnography

The test involves using electrodes to monitor your heart, brain, and breathing while sleeping. The movement of your eyes and muscles is also tracked.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and taking prescribed medications to help treat narcolepsy. Therefore, if you are experiencing narcolepsy or hypersomnia and seek treatment, you can start by calling Sonoran Sleep Center today and book your appointment.

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