Narcolepsy is a somewhat common sleep disorder that affects roughly 1 in 2,000 Americans. Patients develop it between the ages of 15 and 25 and deal with it for the rest of their lives. We spoke to Iwona Rawinis, M.D., medical director of The Center for Sleep Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, for one approach to the medical problems from which you or your loved ones may suffer when trying to sleep.
If you think you might have narcolepsy, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Saira Bajwa
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness as well as sleep attacks during which the patient goes directly from being awake to a state of deep REM sleep, contrary to the normal sleeping process. Narcolepsy is sometimes accompanied by hallucinations, sleep paralysis and cataplexy, resulting in sudden muscle loss.
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Iwona Rawinis, M.D., is a board-certified sleep specialist. Dr. Rawinis also serves as the medical director of The Center for Sleep Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage. She attended medical school in Poland, followed by residency at St. Luke's hospital in New York City and a fellowship at Winthrop-University Hospital in Long Island.
Have you ever suffered from narcolepsy? What worked for you?