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Sleep Disorders and Narcolepsy

            There are many sleep disorders that may affect normal life functions. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which there are continuous periods of an uncontrollable need to sleep, lapsing into sleep, or napping occurring within the same day. It creates a limited normal, functioning lifestyle for individuals with Narcolepsy; they need to avoid jobs pertaining to driving, which can cause danger to others. Narcoleptic patients can usually drive only once the sleep disorder is controlled with therapy. "The symptoms for narcolepsy have to occur at least three times per week over the past 3 months"[ CITATION DSM13 l 1033 ]. The diagnosis has to include one out of the three following criterial: experience of cataplexy occurring at least a few times per month, absence of hypocretin, a neurotransmitter that regulates arousal and appetite, or Nocturnal sleep polysomnography showing rapid eye movement[ CITATION DSM13 l 1033 ]. Narcolepsy affects 0.02%-0.04% of the general population in most countries affecting both genders[ CITATION DSM13 l 1033 ]. The onset of this sleep disorder is usually in children and adolescents. Sudden and unexpected onset in young children can be associated with obesity and premature puberty. However, it is more difficult to identify the onset in young adults. Narcolepsy can co-occur with bipolar, depressive and anxiety disorders. Three insightful articles will offer interesting facts and studies on narcolepsy.
             Eighteen percent of narcolepsy is associated with REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) which is clinically characterized by interrupted loss of normal skeletal muscle during REM sleep with the appearance of complicated motor activity associated with dreaming. Dramatic, usually violent behaviors such as punching and kicking, are accompanied by vivid dreams and are the most common complaints of RBD patients[ CITATION Sti07 l 1033 ]. A great number of studies hypothesize that RBD is positively correlated with Parkinson's disease.

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