‘Sleeping beauty syndrome’ also known scientifically as Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) is a rare disorder that causes recurring periods of uncontrolled sleepiness. In some extreme circumstances, one can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
The sleeping beauty syndrome may also produce changes in behavior and confusion. This disorder can affect anyone, but teenage boys are the most vulnerable to develop it. About 70 percent of individuals with this disorder are male.
Episodes happen very unexpectedly and can happen anytime or anywhere. Sometimes they’re on and off for as long as 10 years. During the episodes, it may be tough to carry out basic activities such as work and school.
Individuals who have sleeping beauty syndrome may not necessarily experience episodes every day. In fact, they can happen very rarely. However, when episodes strike, it can last for a very long time.
The most standard symptom is excessive drowsiness. These individuals will always want to go to bed and will have troubles getting up in the morning.
Exhaustion can be so drastic that people with sleeping beauty syndrome are bedridden until an episode passes. It almost feels like they are in a coma all the time.
Other symptoms that may happen include:
- Increased irritability
- Weird behaviour
Many individuals continue on with their life after the episodes without any side effects. Most of them don’t even remember what happened during their episodes.
How to manage the symptoms?
Several medications are available to assist in managing symptoms. This could help reduce the duration of an episode and stop future episodes.
Stimulant pills are an option for treating sleeping beauty syndrome. Although they will cause irritability, these medications promote wakefulness and are effective at reducing sleepiness.
Since episodes can happen very randomly, it is good to approach a professional who can help identify an impending episode. By doing so, it is going to prevent you from having an episode in the middle of carrying out activities. For example, you could have an episode while you are driving a car, this could cause a fatal accident. So, once you have learnt to identify an impending episode, you will not drive and therefore will prevent it from happening. This can not only save your life, but others too.
Having a serious sleeping disorder may be sad and unfortunate. However, with some luck and patience, you can try your best to overcome the difficulties faced.
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