Mental Illness/ Psychological Disorders


It is a rare, chronic brain condition that causes sudden falling asleep at inappropriate times.

The cause is unknown, but it could be one of the following:

  • Decreased levels of the chemical hypocretin, which is responsible for regulating wakefulness. The deficiency may be due to the immune system attacking the cells that produce or receive hypocretin.
  • Hormonal changes that can occur during puberty, menopause or due to stress.
  • An infection (e.g., swine flu) or the vaccine used against it.
  • Head injury or stroke

Risk factors:
Compulsive sleep affects males and females, and these symptoms usually appear in childhood or teenage years because of a combination of genetic, autoimmune, and environmental factors.

Not all infected people experience the same symptoms. Symptoms may begin to appear suddenly for some or within years or weeks. It is usually a chronic disease, although some symptoms may improve with age. These symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, sleepiness throughout the day, and difficulty concentrating and staying awake.
  • Sudden sleep attacks.
  • Catatonia (a lethargic attack), which is weakness and loss of muscle control. These seizures occur when you are excited, laughing, angry, or surprised.
  • Sleep paralysis or temporary inability to move or speak while awake or during sleep.
  • Frequent dreams and waking up at night.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Memory problems.
  • headache.
  • depression.

When to see a doctor:
About experiencing one of the symptoms of narcolepsy and feeling weak or depressed.

Excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy may lead to one of the following:

  • Trouble doing work.
  • Problems in social relationships.
  • Injuries and accidents.
  • Side effects of the medications used to treat the disorder may occur (e.g., weight gain).

Because the underlying cause of the disease is not known, the diagnosis is made by observing the symptoms and conducting tests to help managing other conditions that may cause excessive sleepiness, and one of the tests requires staying awake and observing the patient during sleep.

There is no cure for the disease, but treatment can help control symptoms:

  1. Lifestyle changes: Some changes can improve sleeping at night:
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Take a nap during the day when you usually feel tired.
  • Make the bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature, making sure the bed and pillows are comfortable.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals several hours before bed.
  • Quit Smoking.
  • Relax, for example, take a warm bath or read a book before bed.
  • Exercise regularly every day, as it helps to sleep at night, making sure to practice it several hours before bedtime.

  2. The doctor may prescribe some medications, including:

  • Stimulant medications that help you stay awake during the day.
  • Antidepressants, which help reduce episodes of cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

Narcolepsy cannot be prevented, but treatment may reduce the number of episodes. Situations that trigger this condition can also be avoided if you are prone to having narcolepsy.

Last Update : 31 August 2023 01:07 PM
Reading times :