How Narcolepsy Side Effects Affect Your Daily Life?
Narcolepsy is a condition of hypersomnia that is excessive sleepiness. It is a brain disorder which involves less control of sleep-wake cycles.
The two most common narcolepsy side effects are
- Excessive daytime sleepiness; several naps during the day and daily sleep attacks.
- Sudden and temporary muscle weakness called cataplexy, usually by strong emotions.
Other narcolepsy side effects experienced by some of the patients are sense of paralysis, micro sleep episodes and dreamlike states. Researches proved that narcolepsy is caused due to poor production of hypocretin in the brain.
A symptom of narcolepsy varies from person to person. It appears more between the ages of 10-15. The other symptoms that are related to narcolepsy are hallucinations, cataplepxy and sleep paralysis.
- Hallucination: while awakening or falling asleep, some people experience frightening, vivid visual or auditory sensations.
- Micro sleep: It is a brief sleep during which people continue to work like putting the things away, and talking to themselves, but when they awake, they won’t remember anything.
- Cataplexy: It is a condition of loss of muscle control generally triggered by sudden and strong emotions like crying or laughing.
- Sleep paralysis: Unable to talk or move at the beginning or end of sleep.
- Rapid entry into REM sleep: People experience the muscle paralysis and vivid dreams at the beginning of sleep
Scientists discovered that lack of Hcrt cells and neurons which secrete hypocretin leads to narcolepsy condition. These cells help in the inhibition of his or her ability in controlling alertness.
Living with narcolepsy is difficult while you are driving or working. People with narcolepsy can also suffer from depression, fear, anxiety and stress.
Narcolepsy side effects in special groups’ people:
Pregnant women: If you are planning for pregnancy or being pregnant, then just take the advice of your doctor regarding the narcolepsy medicines or any other precautions. Taking narcolepsy medicines is risky to pregnant women. Those medicines may interfere with your pregnancy and affect the growth of developing fetus.
School-aged children: Narcolepsy side effects will cause problem in focusing, studying and remembering the things.
Genetic factors: Some of the genetic factors also lead to narcolepsy. An individual having narcolepsy is more likely to have narcolepsy running in the family. Narcolepsy is also due to the combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Environmental factors that are involved in causing narcolepsy are trauma, infection, stress, hormonal changes and immune system problems.
Auto-immunity: Narcolepsy is an auto immune disease which affects immune system of the body by making its own proteins into antigens.
Effects on mental functioning: Narcolepsy side effects sometimes cause problems with thinking, memory and attention. This is due to sleepiness and tiredness caused by narcolepsy condition. Sometimes it may disrupt your life to the extent that it may lead to anxiety and depression.
Social and professional relationships: Unfortunately, some people found these sudden sleep episodes as humorous as they are not aware of narcolepsy. Some may even think that you are lazy, rude or even faking the sudden sleep episodes.
Marital relationships: Your relationship with your partner can severely disturb with narcolepsy. Excessive sleepiness may also lead to low sex drive and impotence.
Emotional issues: Living with narcolepsy can also lead to anxiety, fear, stress and depression. If you are highly depressed, your doctor can recommend anti-depressive medications.