“I couldn’t drive without falling asleep – but the right medicine helps”
Alyssa, 28, was diagnosed with narcolepsy after years of sleep problems.
“As a freshman in college, I started having trouble making it to my classes. I would wake up, only to fall back asleep and dream that I was getting ready.”
“I stopped going to see my parents as frequently because I couldn’t make the hour-and-15-minute drive home without falling asleep. I was extremely irritable all the time. I would cry over silly things, like it being too hot outside. The more I stressed, the sleepier I would get.”
Alyssa now takes medication to help her stay awake during the day, and another medicine to help her sleep at night. “They don’t solve everything but, along with certain lifestyle habits, they help me live a normal life.”
“I had night terrors and sleep paralysis, but I have my condition under control”
“By the time I turned 35, I was more than just sleepy. I had terrible brain fog and memory issues, and I lost chunks of time when driving, washing dishes or typing emails,” says Lindsay.
“I had night terrors and sleep paralysis. Night after night, I was woken up by a child's voice asking to hold my hand. How did I know it was actually a hypnagogic hallucination [waking dream] that needed medical attention?”
Lindsay’s doctor referred her to a sleep specialist, and she was diagnosed with narcolepsy. A combination of medication, meditation and lifestyle changes means she now has her condition under control.
Read more about narcolepsy and how to cope with it.