Narcolepsy is a rare neurological sleep wake cycle disorder. Narcoleptics experience different sleep stages throughout the day and night, which makes them hard to keep normal daily life. During research, we met Chris who was having hard time following the lecture in the classroom. After several conversations with Chris, we decided to design a system to aid him get education.
Statistics on narcolepsy indicate that the disorder could affect as many as 200,000 Americans, although fewer than 50,000 are diagnosed. About 8 to 12 percent of people with narcolepsy have a close relative with the disease. Worldwide statistics on narcolepsy reveal that occurrence rates vary throughout the world.
Narcoleptics experience various symptoms associated with REM sleep disturbances that tend to begin subtly and may change dramatically over time. Most common major symptom is cataplexy, which occurs in about 70% of narcoleptics.
People with EDS describe it as a persistent sense of mental cloudiness, a lack of energy, a depressed mood, or extreme exhaustion. Some people experience memory lapses, and many have great difficulty maintaining their concentration while at school, work, or home.
Narcoleptics experience memory loss from the side effect of medication, or brain fog from excessive sleepiness.
While individuals with narcolepsy have no difficulties falling asleep at night, most experience difficulties staying asleep. Sleep may be disrupted by insomnia, vivid dreaming, sleep talking, acting out while dreaming, and periodic leg movements.
Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move.
During sleep attack, narcoleptics often experience hallucinations. These images are unusually vivid, seem real, and can be frightening.
This is the sudden, temporary loss of muscle tone, which causes paralysis of the head or body while the person remains conscious. It can last a few seconds or several minutes. Severe attacks can cause the knees to buckle, leading to collapse. Typically, cataplexy is brought on by laughter, excitement or anger. The sudden relaxing of muscle tone is probably the result of the brain abruptly entering REM sleep.
Narcolepsy is rare so that not many people know what they are suffering from. They are trying their best to maintain normal life, yet it is tough due to irregular symptoms such as cataplexy.
Sudden change of emotion triggers cataplexy. It is irregular and hard to track.
Narcoleptics suffer more from the symptoms, when people trying to help them in a wrong way.
They need to plan when to take medications or take a nap before the event.
Various symptoms make them hard to follow education.