What is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy experience periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time. These “sleep attacks” usually last a few seconds to several minutes.
Narcolepsy can greatly affect daily activities. People may unwillingly fall asleep while at work or at school, when having a conversation, playing a game, eating a meal, or, most dangerously, when driving or operating other types of machinery.
In addition to daytime sleepiness, other major symptoms may include cataplexy (a sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone while awake that makes a person go limp or unable to move), vivid dream-like images, or hallucinations, as well as total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.
Narcolepsy Treatment in Chicago
Unfortunately, there is no cure to Narcolepsy, however, there are a variety of treatments that can significantly help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is available to help change sleep patterns and sleeping factors.
CBT involves regular, often weekly, visits to a clinician, who gives the patient a series of sleep assessments, ask the patient to complete a sleep diary, and work with the patient in sessions to help change the way the patient sleeps.
For more information, check out Chicago Sleep Department’s Sleep Study Experience.