DYNACII's Life Coach
November 19, 2013
I am a healthy 30-year-old male and I randomly have sleep attacks

Dear Life Coach,

I am a 30-year-old male and thankfully I have been healthy all my life. I ate right, exercised, slept adequately, and drank socially only on occasions. Over the past year, however, I have noticed that I am unable to prevent myself from falling asleep, at my desk, when I am reading, and as soon as I “hit” the couch. Now, I am fearful that I may fall asleep when I am driving, as these sleep attacks give no warning. They come on suddenly and last for several minutes. I am concerned about falling into danger unknowingly.{{more}}

Sleepy Sammy (SS)

Dear SS,

You are worried that your life is now in danger because of unexpected bouts of sleep.

What’s Going On:

Here are some factors that contribute to your present situation: narcolespy, medical evaluation, narcolepsy diagnosis and treatment, lifestyle adjustment, accident prevention, and family support. These I will address briefly.


Narcolepsy refers to a biological condition in which an individual experiences sudden, brief, uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, during the day-time. These sudden bouts of sleep may occur during any type of activity, at any time of the day.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

The symptoms of narcolepsy include: excessive daytime sleepiness (even if the person has had sufficient night-time sleep), disruption of normal daily activities (e.g. falling asleep during one’s favourite soccer game), memory impairment, poor concentration, fatigue, lack of energy, sadness, sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy), sleep paralysis (inability to move when falling asleep or waking up) and hallucinations (unusual visions when falling asleep or waking up).

Causes of Narcolepsy

Although the cause of narcolepsy is unknown, it is widely accepted that genetic, brain abnormalities, and other factors may contribute to this disorder.

What to Do:

Medical Evaluation

Visit your family doctor for a medical evaluation to determine neurological or other conditions that may be contributing to your sleep problems.

Establish Narcolepsy Diagnosis

The Polysomnogram (PSG) and the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) as well as other specialized sleep tests may be performed in a sleep disorders clinic or a sleep lab in order to establish a diagnosis of narcolepsy.

Seek Treatment for the Symptoms

While there is no cure for narcolepsy, you may receive treatment for the symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness may be treated with amphetamine-like stimulants, while the symptoms of cataplexy may be treated with antidepressant drugs.

Life Style Adjustment

Make changes in your lifestyle that will help to reduce your symptoms as follows: Things to Avoid: Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and heavy meals. Schedules to Establish: Night time sleep, daytime naps (10-15 minutes), and exercise routine (two or three times each week). Have a Balanced Diet: Eat a balanced diet every day, consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean meat and complex carbohydrates.

Accident Prevention

Since you are unsure about your present diagnosis, it makes sense that you should take precaution by avoiding the use of machinery, driving, or swimming.

Family Support

Enlist the help of family members, especially as it relates to driving and other activities that may be dangerous with the onset of sudden sleep.

SS, sleep is essential to our health and vitality, but when it interjects into our scheduled activities, it becomes a life-altering condition. Hopefully, you will get the treatment you need in order to function normally.

Life Coach

Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to [email protected] To Chat with the Life Coach, visit: http://www.dynacinternational.com. Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.