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Narcolepsy is an unfortunate disorder in which people suffer from sudden occurrences of sleep. This sudden sleep usually lasts from a few seconds to several minutes. In rare occasions these narcoleptic episodes have been known to last upwards of one hour. During these narcoleptic episodes the persons falls right into REM sleep. However, for most individuals REM sleep is not reached until well after an hour into a normal sleep cycle. Another effect that comes with narcolepsy is cataplexy, or the complete loss of muscle tone. This is an extremely dangerous aspect of narcolepsy because at any moment these individuals could loose total muscle tone and collapse. Narcolepsy is important to understand because the more we know about this disorder the more help we can be to those who suffer from it. For many narcoleptics everyday activities such as driving and walking down stairs become dangerous tasks. The reality of the disorder is that these individuals live in the constant fear of not knowing when these attacks of sudden sleep will occur. This video clip from Rat Race shows how random these sudden attacks of sleepiness can be.
As someone who loves to be active and partake in a variety of athletics narcolepsy would be an unfortunate burden. Activities such as skiing and soccer would still be possible, but with activities such as driving would become too dangerous. Narcolepsy would effectively alter some of my everyday choices. After researching this disorder I am still interested in how other aspects of life are affected by narcolepsy and how people with this disorder deal with and adapted to these alterations in there lifestyles.

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This page contains a single entry by blahn019 published on October 9, 2011 6:38 PM.

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