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Do I have narcolepsy?

by Jolanda

Hi my name is jolanda, I have read all these stories and sound all too familiar. When I start to fall asleep I know its happening but its already too late I cant come out of it no matter how hard I fight try to yell scream move even BREATH!

Its such a helpless feeling! I can hear everything around me the tv show I was just watching, ive even been able to come out of it from a nap and tell my dad at the time what his conversation on the phone was when I was asleep! Its like I cant move I cant see because in my situation my eyes are closed and my body is completely paraliyzed but my mind is still awake I can think clearly mostly all im thinking is how I can get out of this again and of course there is always fear most of the time I feel like something is laying on me so breathing is difficult, and there has been time where I cant breath at all and im fighting for my life to come out of it in panic and when I feel like all my air is gone I all of a sudden come out of it gasping for air this has put me in tears many times.

This has been going on for as long as I can remember allot when I was a teen im 25 now and it occurs a few times a year. Ive learned to try to not panic as much talk myself out of the fear oh and what has helped me is when this happens and I try to go back to sleep I fall rite back into it and thats the worst so I get out of bed splash water on my face and take a walk around the house and it always helps me not fall back into that. Please respond to me I would really appreciate your feedback I never went to a doctor because I always thought it was just me.

Kevin: Hi Jolanda. What you describe is called sleep paralysis. It can be a symptom of narcolepsy, but it happens much more commonly in people without narcolepsy. This is called isolated sleep paralysis.

Based on what you described, it seems unlikely you have narcolepsy unless you are experiencing cataplexy (weakness of the knees or face muscles or postural collapse when you're awake and experience strong emotions), or other narcolepsy symptoms.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

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Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

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