Chances are that these symptoms affect your life in more ways than you realize. The Sleep Apnea Wellness Center in Stuart, Florida specializes in diagnosing and treating major sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy.
Our sleep specialists have helped countless patients conquer their sleep problems and start living a normal life again. Read on to find out more about narcolepsy, and how to get treatment.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control the sleep-wake cycles. This results in uncontrollable sleepiness throughout the day. People with narcolepsy often get insufficient sleep due to waking up throughout the night.
Although narcolepsy doesn’t have any serious lifelong health issues, it often interferes with daily life. It can cause people to fall asleep suddenly, even in the middle of an activity like driving or talking.
It sometimes takes years to get a definitive diagnosis for narcolepsy, since some symptoms can overlap with those of other sleep and mental disorders.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
Unfortunately, experts don’t know what causes narcolepsy. Researchers think that it might have something to do with a lack of the chemical hypocretin. Some of the factors that may work together to cause a hypocretin deficiency are:
This is usually performed the day after an overnight sleep study. During the MSLT, you will take 5 short naps 2 hours apart. This will determine how fast you fall asleep, and how long it takes you to enter REM sleep. Individuals with narcolepsy fall asleep more quickly and enter REM sleep more quickly.
More commonly referred to as a sleep study, a PSG involves recording brain and muscle activity, eye movements, and breathing overnight.
Sodium Oxybate: This is a strong sedative that helps to treat cataplexy as well as daytime sleepiness.
Antidepressants: These are sometimes used to treat the problems with REM sleep.
Stimulants: This is usually the first line of treatment for narcolepsy. Modafinil is most commonly prescribed since it is less addictive and does not have many side effects.
Lifestyle changes: The medications that are currently available might not be feasible for everyone. And even if they are, a medication regimen should go along with lifestyle changes. People with narcolepsy can try things like taking scheduled naps around the times they usually get sleepy, avoiding caffeine at night, and avoiding smoking.
Narcolepsy is difficult to live with. But with the right treatment plan, you can lead an active, fulfilling life. The first step on that path is getting an accurate diagnosis. Our experienced professionals at the Sleep Apnea Wellness center will help you solve your snoring problems caused by Sleep Apnea. Call today for an appointment, and take advantage of our alternative to CPAP.