What does irresistible drowsiness and sudden falling asleep indicate?

There is a disease in which a person has a sudden desire to sleep no matter where he is.

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness at non-standard times. A person who suffers from narcolepsy constantly wants to sleep and constantly feels very tired, even if he slept well.

Typically, narcolepsy is mild to severe. In some cases, it has a very negative effect on a person’s social activities: performance, study and general health. It is also important to note that a person with narcolepsy can fall asleep at absolutely any time of the day, for example, while talking or driving.  

Generally, there are three types of narcolepsy:

  • Narcolepsy with cataplexy;
  • Narcolepsy without cataplexy, which is manifested by constant daytime sleepiness;
  • Also, secondary narcolepsy: the result of severe trauma to the part of the brain that is responsible for normalizing sleep.

Importantly, the main causes of narcolepsy remain unknown today. Experts suggest that the cause of this disease may be a violation of metabolic processes in the brain, in particular, with the exchange of orexin – a kind of substance that is responsible for regulating the sleep and wakefulness cycle.


In addition to daytime sleepiness, the symptoms of the disease are as follows:

  • Cataplexy is characterized by a sudden attack of general weakness of the body, which appears as a result of positive or negative emotions. Such an attack can develop very actively, the patient can instantly fall and injure himself. Typically, the duration of an attack can be from a few seconds to several minutes. Then the person falls asleep. 
  • Dreams that appear in reality are characterized by vivid visions that are very reminiscent of a dream. As a rule, they are accompanied by anxiety. The sick have visions of objects, people, they also hear music and different voices. 
  • Sleep paralysis is accompanied by complete immobility of a person, which lasts up to several minutes after waking up. The patient is fully conscious and able to assess the environment of his stay, but he cannot even move. Such paralysis is most often noted in the morning, but appears at other times of the day. 

You can identify the disease on your own by the presence of excessive daytime sleepiness, but only a specialized doctor can diagnose the disease, after conducting some studies: polysomnography, encephalography, etc. 

Unfortunately, problems cannot always be diagnosed in the shortest possible time, because various sleep disorders are very common against the background of various diseases.

Narcolepsy treatment

You need to know that it is not yet possible to get rid of narcolepsy completely, but treating the symptoms of narcolepsy can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. An experienced doctor can prescribe medications that can help relieve daytime sleepiness and improve sleep at night. Also, drugs with a psychostimulating effect will help a lot – these can be different antidepressants.   

In addition, it is very important to normalize your sleep patterns. A sick person needs to train himself to go to bed and get up at the same time. Also, you should refuse to work at night and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Patients with narcolepsy are strictly prohibited from engaging in activities that are potentially dangerous for themselves and those around them, including: driving a car, working at height, working with other moving machinery, night work, etc.

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