All You Need To Know About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder affects the control of wakefulness and sleep. People with narcolepsy experience extreme daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sleep attacks can occur at any time of the day and during any activity.

In a typical sleep cycle, the body enters the early stage of sleep that is followed by deeper sleep stage and roughly about 90 minutes the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. But people suffering from narcolepsy, REM occur almost immediately in the sleep cycle and periodically during the waking hours. It is during the REM sleep that we experience the muscle paralysis and dreams that explains the symptoms of narcolepsy.

rem sleep

Causes of Narcolepsy

Though, the causes of narcolepsy are still not identified, but research shows that genes play a major role. The genes control the chemical production in the brain that signals awake and sleep cycles. In case of faulty genes, the cycle is abrupt and it causes problems. Some experts believe narcolepsy to be the result of a deficiency of hypocretin chemical produced by the brain.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Wondering, what are the symptoms of narcolepsy? Some of them are mentioned for your reference:

  1. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS): Excessive daytime sleepiness interferes with the normal activities on a daily basis, irrespective of whether the person with narcolepsy had sufficient sleep at night. People suffering with EDS report lack of energy, mental cloudiness, lack of concentration, memory lapses, extreme exhaustion and depressed mood.
  2. Sleep paralysis: Here the person witness temporary inability to speak or move while waking up or falling asleep. These episodes generally last for a few seconds to minutes. Right after the end of the episode, the person recovers with their full capacity to speak and move around.
  3. Cataplexy: Herein, the person experiences a sudden loss of muscle tone that results in weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. This might result in body collapse to slurred speech to total depending on the muscles involved. In most cases it is triggered by intense emotions such as anger, laughter and surprise.

Risks involved

Narcolepsy is a lifestyle threatening sleep disorder as it affects your daily activities and make you feel disabled by affecting the relationship at work or home. The laziness, antagonism and disinterest that mark the symptoms are often not understood by many which mar the personal and professional relationships. This is not all, the risk of accidents is quite high due to the abrupt and variable nature. In most cases, people have been reported to have fallen asleep while driving.

So, if you or your loved one is suffering from Narcolepsy, it is best to seek immediate medical assistance and visit to sleep clinic for the best help.

My husband Snores: How should I deal with it?

You come back home after a tiresome day and get into bed after winding up the day. The moment you fall asleep, a loud noise startles you and you find it impossible to sleep. Is this creating trouble between you and him? Survey shows, a snoring partner is the second biggest reason for divorce after a cheating partner.

snoring husband

Undoubtedly, it is tough to deal with a snoring husband, but a little careful thought for the man you love and married, would certainly help you sail through this phase. Instead of feeling irritated and helpless, as a supporting partner, you must deal with it patiently and look for probable solutions. Some of the ways to deal with the problem are mentioned below:

  1. Talk to him: Snoring is an unconscious process and there are high chances that he is not even ready to accept that he snores. Sit together and instead of shouting at him of making fun of his snoring, make him understand that snoring is not healthy. Look for the reasons that make him snore and help him to overcome them. Some of the reasons that can be behind his snoring can be:
  • Being overweight: Get him up early in the morning and go for jogging. Help him lose those excess pounds and ensure a better sleep for both of you. Make some quality lifestyle changes including healthy eating habits.
  • Chest congestion: If he is suffering from chest congestion, he will feel difficult to breath and this result in snoring. Seek a doctor’s help to get rid of his chest congestion.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol relaxes muscles all over the body and the relaxed nasal muscles result in snoring. Stay him away from taking any alcohol, especially at night.
  • Sleeping on back: Sleeping on the sides will help him get a better sleep and reduces snoring. So whenever you feel, the snores are getting louder, ask him to shift sides.
  1. Use anti snoring devices: There are a number of anti-snoring devices available in the market right from the traditional ear plugs to nasal strips. While an ear plug will help you get a better sleep a nasal strip will ensure a better sleep for both of you. You can try any one of them according to your convenience.

It is definitely your support that your snoring husband needs. So why not give him a chance and hit a sleep disorder clinic instead of the court for seeking divorce!  See 12 hours of snoring to learn more about snoring.



Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Weight?

Dieters around the world will be shocked to learn that their lack of sleep or issues with insomnia may be the cause of them gaining weight, or prevent them from loosing those last 10 pounds. According to studies that were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, loss of sleep may have a direct effect on how hungry a person is the following day.

Sleep and Hormones

The hormones ghrelin and leptin both influence appetite and are released during sleep. If you are lacking hours of sleep or have poor quality sleep the leptin levels will plunge and your brain will not be able to receive the message saying that your stomach is full, causing your appetite to increase during the day. In addition to leptin levels plunging, the ghrelin levels increase and stimulate your appetite even further, causing you to overeat.

For someone who is adhering to their healthy diet may find it extremely difficult not to eat larger servings or even cheat on their diet with a sugary snack. A common fix to frequent hunger pains tends to be a cup of coffee filled with cream and sugar. These types of temporary fixes can cause weight gain or prevent you from losing more weight.

Sleeping Habits

If you find that you are following all of the rules of your diet, eating healthy and exercising, but still can’t seem to shake off those last 10 to 5 pounds, you may want to focus on your sleeping habits. Are you eating right before bed? Even though it might be a healthy snack, eating before bed can cause your sleep to be interrupted. For example, you may enjoy a fresh orange right before bed. This healthy snack is approved for your diet and is low in calories and high in vitamins. However, it is also an acidic food that can cause you to wake up several times during the night due to discomfort from experiencing heartburn or acid reflux. The frequent waking up effects your quality and quantity of sleep and causes your leptin and ghrelin hormones to make you feel hungry. When you awake in the morning, instead of adhering to your healthy breakfast you have scheduled, you will probably want to consume more food, or grab a donut to satisfy your hunger pains.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits

You can do a few things that will help you improve your sleep. In this case you will want to begin with eating your last snack, meal and drink of the day at least two hours prior to your bedtime. In addition, you will want to avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine before bed as well. Drinking water prior to going to bed may seem harmless but it will cause you to frequently wakeup during the night and interrupt your sleep many times.

It is wise to eat a healthy diet and indulge in your favorite foods in moderation. However, if you find yourself frequently needing to eat unhealthy snacks, you may want to focus on your sleep habits and improving them in order to reach and maintain your goal weight.

This post pulled much information from the brilliant Slumber Sage, more info on their RebelMouse account.

Sleep Disorder makes Pregnancy Term Even Difficult

Pregnancy poses several hardships in a woman’s life. A woman undergoes millions of physical and mental changes right from the first day of pregnancy. Even though most of the problems like nausea, fatigue, constipation and hypertension are well addressed by gynecologists, there is another problem that is equally challenging but gets ignored by one and all. You guessed it right! It is sleep disorder or pregnancy insomnia. What makes the condition even worse is that you are actually not able to sleep even though you are tired. Wondering what the causes are behind it? Some of them are listed below for your convenience:

  1. Changing hormones: Pregnancy insomnia is the result of changing hormone levels. In fact, the excessive daytime sleepiness in the first trimester is the result of high levels of a hormone called progesterone. Some hormones change the working pattern of muscles which results in snoring during pregnancy leading to sleep apnea.
  2. Anxiety and emotions: Pregnancy is a time in which a woman is over brimming with emotions. These emotions include motherhood joy, anxiety about the remaining pregnancy and fears of delivery and labor, the future of the baby to come, maintain work life balance amongst all things. All these things increase the anxiety levels and aggravate insomnia.
  3. Physical discomforts: During the third trimester, there is a very frequent urge of urinating which hampers a sound sleep. Apart from it, the growing belly also causes discomfort and you have to keep changing sides to shift the weight and as a result you end up having sleepless nights.

Even though sleep disorders are considered as a part and parcel of pregnancy, they have a direct impact on some of the problems like low birth weight, preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. So it is highly recommended to consult your gynecologist about your sleep disorders instead of spending away the nights tossing on the bed. In case, your problem is severe, you may also consult a sleep disorder clinic to ensure a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.