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Mark Solis Professor Blua Health Education June 5, 2014 Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that affects the control of sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks can occur during any type of activity at any time. In a typical sleep cycle, we initially enter the early stages of sleep followed by deeper sleep stages and ultimately REM sleep, which is the deepest sleep on endures. For those suffering from narcolepsy, REM sleep occurs almost immediately in the sleep cycle. It is in REM sleep that we can experience dreams and muscle paralysis, which explains some of the symptoms of narcolepsy, like the most common, immediately…show more content…
Several specialized tests, which can be performed in a sleep disorders clinic or sleep lab, usually are required before a diagnosis can be stated. The two most essential tests in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). The PSG is an overnight test that takes continuous measurements while a patient is asleep in order to document abnormalities in their sleep cycle. A PSG reveals REM sleep that occurs at abnormal times in the sleep cycle and eliminates the possibility that particular individual's symptoms coming from another condition. The MSLT is performed during the day to measure a person's tendency to fall asleep and to determine whether isolated elements of REM sleep intrude at inappropriate times during the waking hours. As part of the test, an individual is asked to take four or five short naps usually scheduled two hours apart. Following these tests the examining doctor will begin to ask the following; if there are any physical injuries or factors that may have lead to the narcolepsy, whether you are on medication, if you have other sleep disorders that could be other than narcolepsy, if you use or abuse drugs or alcohol and if family members also have narcolepsy. The doctor will also take administer a physical exam which will check for other possible conditions…show more content…
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), interferes with normal activities on a daily basis, whether or not a person with narcolepsy has sufficient sleep at night. People with EDS often experience mental cloudiness, a lack of energy and concentration, memory lapses, a depressed mood, and possibly extreme exhaustion. Cataplexy consists of a sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It can cause symptoms ranging from slurred speech to total body collapse, depending on the muscles involved, and is often triggered by intense emotions such as surprise, laughter, or anger. Sleep Paralysis is the temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. These episodes are generally brief, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. After episodes end, people rapidly recover their full capacity to move and

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