Imagine having the opportunity to be in a race to New Mexico from Las Vegas, the prize being 2 million dollars hidden in a locker at a train station. Now factor in being narcoleptic, and what a problem that would be! Italian Enrico Pollini, played by Rowan Atkinson, has exactly that problem. Moments before opening the locker where the prize money is stored, he falls asleep! While he may make it seem like a funny disorder, narcolepsy is no such thing.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where a person can suddenly fall asleep, no matter the situation, for anytime between a few seconds to up to an hour! Often those who experience narcolepsy also experience cataplexy, which is a complete loss of muscle. Picture a wooden collapsable toy:
With a simple push of a button, the giraffe completely falls over, with no control over his body. And although this is a toy, the giraffe has no control, just like a cataplexy narcoleptic! I personally find narcolepsy a very interesting sleep disorder. And while scientists still do not know what causes narcolepsy, they are slowly finding treatments to quiet the symptoms. Modafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness, and has so far proven beneficial for narcoleptics. We all love sleep, but I prefer to choose when I fall asleep!