The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

Not Sure It's Narcolepsy?

by Suzanne
(Nebraska)

I am up right now because I awoke from another "frozen dream"...that's what I've referred to them as since I started having them over 15 years ago. I hate them and often times after I awake from one, I will keep myself up until I'm so tired I can't stay awake any longer...I obviously do this because I don't want to go through another episode of sleep paralysis (thanks to google I found your site so I finally know what the "real" definition of this terrifying experience is).


I usually experience 2-4 a month. Some nights I dread going to sleep because I fear them! The crazy thing is, they usually don't happen when I'm in my bed (please note, I said USUALLY...tonight though, it happened in my bed), they usually happen if I fall asleep on my couch and I'm usually sleeping on my side, not on my back.

I know research says no one has died from having these episodes and that a person should just try to relax through them...that is VERY difficult to do and I'm not sure how I could even manipulate my mind into relaxing when I can't move a muscle and my cognition is impaired due to hallucinations?

I currently take anti-anxiety medications as well as an antidepressant. When I have an episode of sleep paralysis, I usually take one more anti-anxiety pill to take the edge off and hopefully help me get back to sleep without further disturbances (the "extra" med has been approved by my MD, PRN).

A few questions though...does caffeine possibly exacerbate things? Can a person start out with "mild" symptoms and have things gradually turn into a full blown Narcolepsy diagnosis?

My story is a lot less severe than the ones that I have read but I fear things may progress into the actual Narcolepsy. Any input would be helpful and reassurance would be greatly appreciated!

Prayers to all!
Suzanne

Also, just an FYI side note to chew on....

For those of you who speak of suicide, please seek help...I lost my 17 year old son to suicide 6 years ago so I live a nightmare, every second of every day, that I will never be able to "awake" from. Those who are left behind become the recipients of unwanted pain caused by the selfish act of another. I DO know what it's like to be down and out however, I don't completely know the extent of your struggles with Narcolepsy except the pieces that you all have shared. Just keep pressing on and be persistent when you consult with your family practitioners and/or specialists (probably easier said than done as it all entails time, effort and expense). I just feel very strongly that IT IS the ethical obligation of medical practitioners to get a person headed in the right direction if they themselves have no answer.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Narcolepsy Stories and Thoughts.




Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

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.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

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.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.