I have narcolepsy. I’ve referenced it here before, but I generally don’t dwell on it, especially on a blog about following Jesus. Of course, it does sometimes impact the way that I follow Jesus, much like any other disorder does.
For those who aren’t familiar, narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. It’s a hypersomnia, excessive sleep – as opposed to insomnia which is not enough. I spend all day tired. Ok, sometimes if I got a really good rest, I feel pretty good for the first couple of hours of the day. Some other things help a little, like exercise which might give me a boost for an hour or so afterward..
Beyond general limitations on energy which is the main factor, there are other symptoms. Cataplexy is the sudden weakness of muscles. When most people think of narcolepsy, they’re thinking of this: people suddenly collapsing into sleep. I usually have a few minutes warning and don’t necessarily sleep – sitting or laying down quickly is usually sufficient. There’s also sleep paralysis, which is when your brain and eyes wake up but you can’t move anything else. And there is excessive dreaming – falling directly into REM sleep instead of going through a sleep cycle first – and very lucid dreams, the latter much rarer for me than for many.