Why am I Sleeping so much all of a sudden
Posted On April 16, 2022
Why am I Sleeping so much all of a sudden?? This question is always in our mind.
Most narcoleptic patients are unable to sleep well at night, and some patients fall asleep suddenly, even when talking, eating, or engaging in other activities.
Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes periods of excessive daytime sleepiness and, in some cases, even muscle weakness.
Narcolepsy can also cause:
Cataplexy. This disorder causes a sudden loss of muscle tone during awakening. Muscle weakness can affect the entire body or in certain areas, such as the hands, which can cause objects to fall.
Cataplexy is often caused by an emotional shock: it can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
hallucinations. These are vivid dreams that occur when you fall asleep (hypnagogic) or wake up (hypnopompic).
Sleep paralysis (hypnagogic paralysis).
This disorder prevents you from moving or talking while you are awake and, in some cases, even when you are asleep. Normal sleep paralysis disappears within a few minutes.
The two main stages of sleep are the non-REM phase and the REM phase (from the English “rapid eye movement”). Most people are in the non-REM phase when they first fall asleep. After about 90 minutes of sleep, most people transition from non-REM to REM sleep.
Dreams occur during REM sleep, during which the muscles relax, preventing any movement. People with narcolepsy often enter the REM phase very early and are awake during that phase, so they may have vivid dreams as they fall asleep and wake up (hallucinations).
Hypocretin, a chemical found in the brain, is used to stimulate wakefulness. Most narcoleptic patients are deficient in this substance. The reason for this decrease is not yet fully understood.
Researchers believe that hypocretin deficiency is caused by several concomitant factors, including:
- inheritance factor,
- brain injuries,
- Autoimmune pathologies (conditions that occur when the immune system goes wrong and attacks the cells and tissues of organisms).
There is currently no cure for the condition, so the goal is to reduce the impact on everyday life, for example through frequent and short naps at equal distances from each other during the day;
The symptoms of narcolepsy can therefore be effectively managed and dealt with through behavioral changes and possibly medications, although in the most severe cases it is not possible to achieve and maintain a normal and sustained state of alertness, which may for example cause them Allows you to drive safely.
Most narcoleptic patients lack hypocretin, the chemical in the brain that stimulates wakefulness. The cause of hypocretin deficiency is not yet fully understood, but it is believed that it may be associated with several factors:
genetics. Some people probably have inherited a gene that affects hypocretin levels. A percentage that reaches 10% of people with narcolepsy means there are relatives with the same symptoms.
Tumors and brain injuries caused by conditions such as stroke or trauma (for example from car accidents or war wounds).
The immune system mistakenly attacks the cells and tissues of the body; Examples of autoimmune disorders are rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Lack of histamine, a substance present in the blood and capable of provoking a state of perpetuity.
According to some research, certain environmental pollutants can be triggers of narcolepsy, such as:
- heavy metals,
- insecticides and herbicides,
- passive smoking.
- Finally, it is important to note that genetics alone does not cause narcolepsy, which is instead triggered in the presence of one or more other risk factors.
The condition known as secondary narcolepsy can eventually result from injury to the central nervous system:
- head trauma
- brain tumor
- multiple sclerosis
The disease affects patients of both sexes: symptoms usually first appear during adolescence or early adulthood. The disorder can also manifest in adulthood or childhood, but it is rare in children under the age of five.
Among the possible triggering factors, the English NHS also reports:
- Hormonal changes in women (eg puberty and menopause)
- severe stress
- sudden change in sleeping habits
Pathology can be classified into three different forms:
ATAPLEXIA Excessive daytime sleepiness was investigated using standardized tests.
The four most common signs and symptoms of narcolepsy are:
- severe daytime sleepiness,
- Cataplexy (muscle weakness) while awake
- hallucinations during sleep,
- sleep paralysis.
- If you suffer from narcolepsy, you may have one or more of these symptoms that present with varying severity; Less than a third of narcoleptic patients have all four symptoms.
heavy daytime sleepiness
All narcoleptic patients suffer from severe daytime sleepiness, which is often the most obvious and therefore characteristic symptom of pathology.
During the day, moments of drowsiness may be rare or frequent; Each episode typically lasts less than half an hour and is accompanied by significant emotional stimuli such as:
Daytime sleepers also often complain of symptoms such as:
- mind fog,
- memory or concentration problems,
- lack of energy or a strong marriage,
Some narcoleptic patients may occasionally fall asleep suddenly. The risk is greatest when they are not active, for example when they are reading, watching TV or sitting at a desk in the office.
However, they may also fall asleep suddenly while talking, eating, or doing any other activity. Episodes may also include cataplexy.
This disorder causes a loss of muscle tone while awake, with muscle weakness that affects the entire body.
Cataplexy can cause you to tilt your head or cause problems with speaking. Muscle weakness can also affect your legs and may even prevent you from holding things normally. Some patients completely lose control of their muscles and collapse.
Cataplexy is often caused by strong emotions, such as anger, surprise, fear, or extreme joy. It usually lasts for a few seconds or minutes and the patient is usually conscious.
Cataplexy can occur weeks or even years after the onset of daytime sleepiness.
If you suffer from narcolepsy, you probably have very vivid dreams while falling asleep, waking up or taking a nap.
Dreams in these cases take on a particularly realistic form.
This disorder prevents you from moving or speaking while asleep or awake, even when the patient is fully conscious. Sleep paralysis usually lasts a few seconds or minutes, but it can be frightening.
Most narcoleptic patients are unable to sleep properly because they may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Very realistic nightmares can lead to sleep disturbances. If you don’t sleep properly at night, sleep gets worse during the day.
In rare cases, people who fall asleep while doing an activity, for example while eating, may continue the activity for a few seconds or minutes: this is an automatic behavior, but not being aware of it, You are unable to perform normally.’ activities.
- If the patient is writing before bedtime, he or she can start writing sense-free scripts;
- If you are driving it may get lost or it may cause an accident.
- Most people with this symptom cannot remember anything about the episodes in which it happened.
Narcoleptic children often have problems reading, concentrating, and remembering things, so their disorder may be mistaken for hyperactivity.
In fact, some narcoleptic children tend to slow down their movements rather than too quickly, as one would expect.
Narcoleptic children may suffer from severe sleeplessness, and therefore may fall asleep while talking or eating, during play, or during social commitments.
Threats and Forecasts
Because of a constant feeling of fatigue, narcolepsy patients develop difficulties in school, at work, at home and in social life that can significantly affect their quality of life.
Narcolepsy is not currently curable, but its symptoms may improve.
- lifestyle changes,
- other treatments.
- diagnosis and testing
This disease can easily be mistaken for:
especially in children and adolescents.
If the symptoms of narcolepsy are mild, the disease is even more difficult to diagnose.
Diagnosis is made on the basis of
personal and family history,
Prospective examinations to exclude other hypotheses.
There are also some tests that can provide the first general assessment of the likelihood of suffering from narcolepsy, although this in no way can replace a medical evaluation.
Tell your doctor if you are suffering from symptoms of the disease – it is important that you do, as your doctor may not ask you for anything during routine visits.
The doctor will probably ask you, among other things
- If they disturb sleep,
- If they interfere with normal day to day activities.
- It will also inform you about your sleep habits, your health and how you are feeling throughout the day.
It may be helpful to keep a sleep diary for a few weeks to better answer these questions. A sleep diary is used to record whether you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, how long you sleep and how alert you are during the day.
When you start feeling symptoms.
Personal and family history
Your doctor will ask you if:
Introduce risk factors for narcolepsy, such as infection, brain injury, and autoimmune diseases. Some research suggests that environmental toxins may also play a triggering role in narcolepsy.
Take drugs, and if any. Some drugs can cause daytime sleepiness, so the symptoms may be caused by the drugs, not narcolepsy.
You have a narcoleptic relative or have symptoms of the disease.
Your doctor will visit you to find out if your symptoms are due to a different disorder, such as infection, thyroid disease, alcohol or drug use, other general or sleep disorders that can cause similar symptoms.
If your doctor thinks you have narcolepsy, they will likely recommend that you see a sleep specialist, who will order a sleep study to learn more about your disorder.
Sleep studies are usually done in a specialized facility. Doctors, in particular, diagnose narcolepsy using the results of two tests: polysomnography and MSLT (multiple sleep latency test).
- .To do this, the patient has to stay in the hospital all night.
- you can go to bed early
- After a short time when you fall asleep, enter the REM phase,
- You wake up often at night.
- MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test).
On this day sleep study measures sleep. This is most often done a day after the . During the test you are asked to take 20-minute naps every two hours for the whole day (in total you should take four or five naps).
The technician will check brain activity during the nap. It will note how long it takes to fall asleep and to reach different stages of sleep.
The MSLT detects the speed at which you fall asleep during the day (after a night’s sleep) and if you enter it soon after falling asleep.
Hypocretin examination. This test measures the amount of hypocretin in the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. Most narcoleptic patients have hypocretin deficiency. Hypocretin is a chemical substance that stimulates wakefulness.
To obtain a sample of spinal fluid, a lumbar puncture is performed. The doctor pricks the lower back with a syringe and takes a sample of spinal fluid.
Unfortunately, recovery from narcolepsy is not possible to date, although medications, lifestyle changes, and other treatments have been able to ease the most common symptoms.
In any case, therapy depends on the type of symptomatology and its severity, as well as the patient’s response.
To cope with the symptoms of narcolepsy, you will have to resort to one or more drugs, among which we remember:
Stimulant to kick off daily sleep and raise the clock.
Medicines that help to make up for the deficiency of hypocretin (Hypocretin is a chemical present in the brain that is always used for stimulation.)
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