In high school, when I first became interested in psychology, I was taking a psychology class taught by my high school. I remember learning about the different sleeping disorders and the way I learned to remember what Narcolepsy was, was to think about my cat.
My cat, like most cats, would suddenly stop walking around, lay down on the floor, and begin sleeping. When my sister and I learned that this behavior is seen as Narcolepsy in humans, we started calling our kitty a "Narcoleptic cat."
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which individuals who are affected by it have irresistible sleep attacks, typically between 1-6 times each day. These individuals feel sleepiness and an irresistible urge to go to sleep, which can be perpetuated in situations that do not require a lot of energy, such as listening to a lecture in class, sitting in a meeting at work, or reading the newspaper.
Most people with Narcolepsy say they feel refreshed after a sleep attack, but some continue to feel sleepy. Sleep attacks generally last from 10-20 minutes, but can last for longer periods of time.
In my next post, I'll talk about how Narcolepsy can be treated.
Here's to wishing you a good night's sleep!