At Bogan Sleep Consultants, Dr. Richard Bogan of Columbia, SC, helps with patients dealing with sleeping disorders, including narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder that causes daytime drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks.
"An estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a chronic sleep or wakefulness disorder, which can impair functioning and increase the risk of injury and various chronic conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease." according to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
More About Narcolepsy
Narcoleptics have a hard time staying awake for too long. People may collapse into a sleep attack because of loss of muscle tone, which is referred to as type 1 narcolepsy and is triggered by strong emotion. People with type 2 narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness but don't suffer from muscle weakness triggered by emotions.
The normal process of sleeping is when people gradually move from one phase to another, until they reach REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep). In narcolepsy, people suddenly enter REM sleep without first experiencing other sleep phases.
How to Manage Narcolepsy
Symptoms of narcolepsy include: excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden loss of muscle tone, sleep paralysis, changes in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and hallucinations.
Narcolepsy is a chronic condition that has no cure but can be managed through medicine and strategic lifestyle changes.
- Good sleeping habits, like frequent and brief naps, and sticking to a strict bedtime routine can help.
- Avoid taking allergy medicine that has drowsiness listed as a side effect.
- A specialist may prescribe certain medications.
What are the causes?
People with type 1 narcolepsy have low levels of a neurochemical called hypocretin that helps regulate wakefulness and REM sleep. People who suffer from type 2 narcolepsy have particularly low levels of hypocretin. The cause of low levels of hypocretin is unknown but experts suspect it's due to an autoimmune reaction, genetics play a role in the development of narcolepsy.
Some risk factors that contribute to narcolepsy are age (typically begins between the ages of 10 and 30), and family history.
Need to speak with your Columbia doctor?
Sleep disorders disrupt everyday activities and require proper medical attention from Bogan Sleep Consultants. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Richard Bogan in Columbia, SC, call his office at (803) 251-3093.