Mmartens3

Sleep Attacks And Micro-Sleep

32 posts in this topic

Most of the time, there is no warning for my sleep attacks. I only know after I wake up. There are times when I do start to get a little sleepy like when you have to sit in the doctor's ofice waiting for an appointment. I'll just get up and walk around. Sometimes when shopping, I'll have an attack just long enough for me to kind of jerk & wake up before I start to fall. Micro sleep for me really blows me away because I can have complete dreams (meaning the time span for whatever I dream covers hours of whatever they are about) in just seconds. And then there are the dreams that I have that are the most fun because I am actually dreaming coinciding with a program on TV and sort of applying my own take on what is happening and adjusting the characters. I tend to become verbally active, loudly, and it wakes up my husband. He then tries to wake me up and I get mad because I am having such a good time. These kind of dreams generally begin by having cataplexy so bad (most of the time from laughing) that I fall into a dream state but still aware of what is happening on the TV. Crazy, huh? Wonder if anyone else ever does that? When my children were small and they were watching TV, I would take a nap with them and I could hear eveything they said even though I was asleep. I've had all sorts of weird experiences connected to Narcolepsy/Cataplexy in my life from 13yrs to 72yrs. Getting past the Cataplexy attacks where I would stop breathing was the most important. Knowing that I would always manage to catch my breath and believing it made the difference. N/C is not fatal. You just have to make the best of it and not allow it to hold you back from anything you want to do! Yes, it will scare off people who get spooked easily but actually that's a good thing.

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Question: can emotions trigger sleep attacks in a similar way that they can trigger cataplexy? I have noticed my sleep attacks sometimes being triggered by emotions such as romantic feelings, nostalgia, excitement, or embarrassment. Not laughter or surprise though.

I never thought it did but my mother has recently had a severe stroke and she had narcolepsy with severe cataplexy her whole life, now when I go see her and she has a strong emotion come on (usually sadness) and she starts to cry or laugh she falls right asleep, like snoring asleep, she had only ever had loss of muscle control before even to the point of her looking like she is nodding off a bit, but now its a full blown pass out sleep attack, brought on by cataplexy. 

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I feel like my sleep attacks are exactly that, sleep attacking me... I feel like I am drowning sometimes, in sleepiness like I am fighting it and fighting it and it just in full blown attack mode. I was having fun with my ability to microsleep the other day. I was taking a selfie right at the moment where I had my eyes closed, and was entering a micro sleep stage but I was still awake enough to be able to take the picture and KNOW I was taking the picture but I was asleep.  It was literally the difference between 1 or 2 seconds the pictures look crazy!! 

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Most of the time, there is no warning for my sleep attacks. I only know after I wake up. There are times when I do start to get a little sleepy like when you have to sit in the doctor's ofice waiting for an appointment. I'll just get up and walk around. Sometimes when shopping, I'll have an attack just long enough for me to kind of jerk & wake up before I start to fall. Micro sleep for me really blows me away because I can have complete dreams (meaning the time span for whatever I dream covers hours of whatever they are about) in just seconds. And then there are the dreams that I have that are the most fun because I am actually dreaming coinciding with a program on TV and sort of applying my own take on what is happening and adjusting the characters. I tend to become verbally active, loudly, and it wakes up my husband. He then tries to wake me up and I get mad because I am having such a good time. These kind of dreams generally begin by having cataplexy so bad (most of the time from laughing) that I fall into a dream state but still aware of what is happening on the TV. Crazy, huh? Wonder if anyone else ever does that? When my children were small and they were watching TV, I would take a nap with them and I could hear eveything they said even though I was asleep. I've had all sorts of weird experiences connected to Narcolepsy/Cataplexy in my life from 13yrs to 72yrs. Getting past the Cataplexy attacks where I would stop breathing was the most important. Knowing that I would always manage to catch my breath and believing it made the difference. N/C is not fatal. You just have to make the best of it and not allow it to hold you back from anything you want to do! Yes, it will scare off people who get spooked easily but actually that's a good thing.

Lots for me to relate to in yr post here, validation for the dream state while audible sounds unaffected. I have sleep attacks where my friends become muppety creatures, like Will he is often a red felt capital T with black colored mop hair flopping as he speaks with the thin arms on wires gesturing, quite amusing but I understand dialogues during this sleep attacks.

Been quizzed enough on what I hear to know is real. Actually, this is how I passed high school & college, unable to take notes 90% of time, or do my homework, try as I might. Anyone else?

But had no idea at the time why and wish I could tell my teachers it was N not them. They certainly asked me, most of them, multiple times per semester, since 5th grade.

Which brings me to the ADHD-I issue, which I wld like to comment on but the sleepy is sinking me, quicksand style.

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Hi, I have pretty much all of these symptoms, that is why I am being studied for N. But I have a question....is it normal for people with N to wake up 17 times an hour through out the night while sleeping? I day dream all day, I walk into people, can't go out in the heat as I become weak and lethargic. One DR says it's insomnia and another N. So whats the waking up thing 17 times an hour through the night?

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On 4/30/2016 at 10:35 AM, first gear said:

Hi, I have pretty much all of these symptoms, that is why I am being studied for N. But I have a question....is it normal for people with N to wake up 17 times an hour through out the night while sleeping? I day dream all day, I walk into people, can't go out in the heat as I become weak and lethargic. One DR says it's insomnia and another N. So whats the waking up thing 17 times an hour through the night?

Not unusual -- our sleep patterns are wack, with fragmented sleep stages.  I've never had any problems going to sleep at night, but I used to wake up repeatedly throughout the night no matter how tired I was.  Trazodone takes care of that for me.  I learned over time that I actually need to take just enough to improve that symptom but not so much that I feel like I slept completely soundly, because even though I thought I'd slept "better," if the dose of trazodone was too high, the morning inertia and lingering effects of the medication completely negated the benefit.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  But people with N should usually only take things that help stabilize sleep, NOT ordinary sedatives such as benzodiazepines which don't improve restful sleep.  Trazodone helps, some antiepileptics reportedly help.  And of course, Xyrem is best of all.

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I totally agree with the above. My PSG showed that I had several hundred spontaneous arousals from sleep at night. It was absolutely miserable. I also take trazadone and it allows me to sleep through the night.

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