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Learning I Had Narcolepsy - Movies Are Made Of This!

by Dawn
(Massachusetts USA )

A few years ago, whilst driving, I was suddenly jolted back to reality - I had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel and thankfully awoken just in time to grab the wheel and regain control of the car. The first thing I did was contact my doctor, who arranged for a sleep study.(I was advised not to drive for the time being)

After talking to co-workers, they did mention that I did occasionally "zone out" but thought that I was just overtired, and therefore said nothing. Over the next few weeks the episodes became more frequent. I am a social worker and fell asleep running a group therapy session, I then fell asleep on the treadmill which was apparently quite a comical sight! I ended up a bit bruised but that was the worst of it.

Since then I have fallen asleep with full cups of coffee in my hand, mid-sentence as I type on the laptop, and in the middle of exams.

A sleep study concluded that I was hitting REM between 6 seconds and 4 minutes - I now take Modafinil and life has less bumps! Days I forget to take the pills can be quite hard going!

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About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

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The Stanford Sleep Book

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Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

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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