• Book Definition: A disorder of REM sleep, involving sleep-onset REM periods and sudden daytime REM-sleep attacks usually accompanied by cataplexy.

In Your Own Words


  • Narcolepsy is a sudden sleep attack. At the same time of a narcoleptic sleep attack, one may experience a sudden loss of muscle control called cataplexy.
  • A disorder that puts people to sleep with no warning, no matter what they're doing. Often triggered by intense emotions, physical, and sexual activity.
  • Falling asleep in an instant.
  • Randomly falling asleep at anytime, regardless of how tired you feel.
  • When a person enters REM sleep right away instead of waiting the 90 minutes.
  • A person that has sudden sleep attacks at random points of the day.
  • A disorder of REM sleep caused by a genetic problem in the brain stem.
  • Anything exciting can cause one of these attacks.

Examples/Functions


  • When a person hears a joke, they start laughing and then will randomly fall asleep.
  • Falling asleep while having sexual intercourse with your spouse.
  • In the movie Rat Race, the Enrico falls asleep at multiple random times during the movie, the most inconvenient of which when he finally gets to the money!
  • When someone is driving and falls asleep randomly while still on the road.
  • Doing Psychlopedia and you suddenly fall asleep without warning.
  • When you are in the middle of a exciting conversation and you fall asleep.
  • When a person is doing parkour and suddenly falls asleep during an intense jump.
  • Writing a paper for a class, then you suddenly fall asleep in the middle of it.
  • Reading your psychology book and you all of sudden fall asleep.
  • Jimmy Kimmel and even Harriet Tubman were reported to be narcoleptic.

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Additional Resources


  1. Hahaha! The Narcoleptic Dog, Rusty!
  2. www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/**narcolepsy**/detail_**narcolepsy**.htm
  3. Harder, B. (2004). Narcolepsy Science Reawakens. Science News, 394-396.
    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4015135?uid=3739704&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101569557451
    • Ben Harder published a story on the affects and one possible cure for narcolepsy. Although this was not an experiment per say but it was research in the form of a survey and observation from other doctors. In one case of narcolepsy, a young boy stopped having narcoleptic attacks for a period of time after injected with large intravenous dose of molecules called immune globulin's. His attacks returned and he had to have continuous injections. Later, scientists discovered an inhibitory medication called orexin; a pill that could be taken to prevent attacks. Scientists still know little about the disease and have concluded through patients that it is caused by something in the patients surrounds.

Research


  • A study carried out on dogs showing that there is an uncommon deformity in dogs' brain that blocks a response to orexinand it manufactures a "dog" form of narcolepsy. Researchers found that people with narcolepsy are missing orexin, also referred to as orexin deficiency in narcolepsy. They started to replace the drug in dogs to confirm whether people dealing with narcolepsy could use the same method. Researchers compared this experiment to giving insulin to people with diabetes. They state that the replacement drug is very helpful although, it is not long term; meaning, patients receiving the replacement drug would need frequent doses.
  • Harder, B. (2004). Narcolepsy Science Reawakens. Science News, 394-39

  • Narcolepsy is a complex disorder that deals with sleep-related brain activities that, at night, occur at random times throughout the day. A studied was tested on an 8 year old boy who was a very healthy and outgoing child, who one day, just found it extremely hard to stay awake as well as having hallucinations. The poor boy was withdrawn from school as well as not participating in anymore extracurricular activities which included his favorite, tae kwon do. Diagnosis for the doctors at Glaslow's Royal Hospital for Sick Children was easy, severe narcolepsy. Unfortunately, the medications for regular narcolepsy did not treat this boys condition. They put the boy on 'immune globulins', a very strong drug. Dr. Zuberi was predicting that the narcolepsy was caused form an immune attack which controls the brains wakefulness and sleep system. Those immune globulins lasted for about three months in the boys body before he felt the symptoms of the narcolepsy return. He has already been back to the hospital for his third round of treatment.
  • Harder, B. (2004). Narcolepsy Science Reawakens. Science News, 394-396. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4015135?uid=3739704&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101673987267