Three people with the condition talk to The Independent about how the illness affects their lives. She earned the nickname from classmates noticing how often she would fall asleep in the middle of class while they were all learning important modules for their GCSEs. While it was probably little more than juvenile teasing and a joke for her classmates, the comments were not funny for Susie, 30, who was very aware that her sleeping habits were not normal. She spent her twenties trying to find a solution through food, travelled to India for treatment from an ayurvedic doctor, underwent acupuncture and took up yoga but nothing worked.
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After a night of not enough sleep, most people will likely feel drowsy the next day. And if your surroundings are dark, quiet, and relaxing enough — or if your previous night of sleep was short enough — you may even nod off inadvertently. But if a child or teen habitually falls asleep in school, or an adult finds themself constantly dozing off at work, despite sleeping enough at night, a sleep disorder may be to blame. One such sleep problem is narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that triggers overwhelming and sudden episodes of sleep and sleepiness during the day, and potentially irregular sleep at night, too.
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting the part of your brain that regulates sleep. As a result, you can experience excessive daytime sleepiness and a sudden loss of muscle control called cataplexy causing you to fall asleep during normal daytime activities such as working or studying. These episodes are often triggered by strong emotions. And while they can be brief, lasting just a few seconds, they can be frightening, embarrassing, and cause serious disruption in your life.