Narcolepsy with cataplexy, or type 1 narcolepsy, is a sleep condition that causes low levels of hypocretin. Cataplexy is a disruptive symptom of narcolepsy where you suddenly lose control of your muscles. Cataplexy is triggered by strong emotions, and can happen often or infrequently depending on the person.
Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurological sleep disorder impacting your brain's ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Those affected feel tired and drowsy during the daytime and experience sleep attacks during daily activities. If you have narcolepsy, you may also wake up frequently at night due to unsteady and interrupted sleep.
No exact cause is known, although factors like autoimmune disorders, family history, and brain injuries are possible risk factors for developing narcolepsy.
Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone which can result in a number of physical changes, ranging from slurred speech to collapsing entirely. This narcolepsy symptom only appears if you have type 1 narcolepsy. Cataplexy is commonly triggered by intense emotions such as excitement or fear.
Type 1 narcolepsy causes low levels of hypocretin, responsible for wakefulness and rapid eye movement (REM). Type 1 narcoleptics can experience cataplexy, which occurs when your muscles suddenly go limp without warning.
Unlike type 1 narcolepsy, doctors aren't sure what causes type 2 narcolepsy, as people with type 2 narcolepsy have normal hypocretin levels. While people with type two narcolepsy experience sleep attacks and irregular sleep cycles, they don't suffer from cataplexy, and their symptoms might be milder than people who have type 1 narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a serious sleep disorder, and should be treated as such. Untreated narcolepsy can create crippling negative effects in your social, academic, and work life. Furthermore, untreated narcolepsy can seriously affect your mental health and quality of life.
Narcolepsy isn't a curable condition, but speaking to your doctor about lifestyle changes instead of taking medications may ease symptoms more effectively and benefit your health long-term. Medications can often have nasty side effects like addiction, so learning how to manage your narcolepsy through changing your lifestyle is often a healthier choice.
If you suffer from narcolepsy, it's possible that you've tried many of the treatments listed here with little to no results. If you've tried the treatments listed above and haven't seen your symptoms improve, it may be time to invest in a quality mattress. Improving sleep quality can ease narcolepsy, so investing in the right mattress may help get you on the right track towards a better night's sleep.
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