There is no exact reason for what causes narcolepsy in the first place. However, you can learn about the characteristics and proper treatments once you are diagnosed with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a disorder condition that may make you suddenly sleep even though you are currently doing other things. This could be dangerous if the disorder came up while you are driving or doing other similar activities.
We are afraid that there is no cure for this condition, considering the reasons for what causes narcolepsy remain unknown until today. However, doctors may suggest you change your lifestyle and giving certain medications. Those are supposed to help you to manage the symptoms. Other than that, it is important to have an excellent support system from others. Narcolepsy can be described as which of the following.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder marked by “sleep attacks”
As we have mentioned in all articles about narcolepsy, those with this condition may fall asleep suddenly like they have a sleep attack. The attack came without warnings no matter what you are doing or wherever you are. For example, you are currently talking to others or writing on your computer and then you nod off, suddenly.
Later, you will sleep for a few minutes. When you are awake, you may feel fresher but then get so sleepy. People with this condition may have their alertness and focus decreased. The first symptom that may appear is excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
Causes of narcolepsy
We have mentioned that there is no exact cause of this condition. In most cases of narcolepsy are due to degeneration of such a low level of hypocretin. This is an important chemical in the human’s brain. It helps to regulate REM sleep and wakefulness. Those with cataplexy have a low level of hypocretin and an autoimmune reaction is suspected as the main reason. Doctors will suggest the patients a certain treatment for narcolepsy after all.
Normal sleep pattern vs. narcolepsy
When it comes to sleep patterns, the normal patter will be started with a phase called NREM or non-rapid eye movement. The brain waves considerably slow during this phase and it takes at least one hour for the brain to change the activity before the REM sleep starts. Commonly, the dreaming phase starts during REM sleep.
However, narcolepsy makes people get into the REM sleep without walking on NREM sleep first. It happens both in the daytime and nighttime of sleep. Some characteristics related to narcolepsy include the changes that happen during the REM sleep but those occur during the drowsiness or wakefulness.
The risk factors of this condition are very limited as the experts had known. Age is the first risk, considering this condition is very common during childhood and adolescence stage. It attacks people of age between 10 and 30 years old. Other than that, family history plays a role in this case. If your parents have narcolepsy then you will have a risk of narcolepsy 30 times higher than those who have no family history of narcolepsy. And this is the end section of what causes narcolepsy.