I’ve never been much of a napper, which is unfortunate, because I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy in 2004, and naps allegedly help alleviate the “overwhelming sleepiness” I regularly feel. I do not have severe cataplexy. I don’t lose muscle tone and fall to the ground. My experience is far more mundane. I’m almost always just a little tired, and sometimes I’m so tired I can barely speak. My sleep is erratic, varying from four hours to eleven. In my experience, the most common misconception about Narcolepsy is that it consists of the waking symptoms, but that is only the expression of the disorder. The magic really happens when my eyes are closed. The activity that occurs (and doesn’t occur) when I’m sleeping is pretty fascinating. It’s no wonder I’m falling asleep all over the place. I was clinically diagnosed through a polysomnogram and Multiple Sleep Latency Test. It took a year of wrong guesses. I still don’t have total confidence that my “issue” is Narcolepsy. I ran the gamut from depression to lupus before a doctor to whom I’m extremely grateful suggested apnea. That was a wrong guess also but it led me to sleep disorders. At risk of sounding like a research paper I’m going to pause here, but sleep is definitely my kryptonite. Not to mention I get super cranky when I haven’t had enough. I’ll take that over dozing at traffic lights.
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