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Questions About Experiences

I have not been diagnosed with Narcolepsy - but do seem to experience some of the symptoms.  I would like to know if anyone here shares any of these experiences. 

I have only experienced sleep paralysis 3 or 4 times over the past 10 years - but they have all been profound experiences. 
  • In addition to the actual paralysis - my (very vivid) dreams continue AFTER I become conscious (completely aware of my surroundings)
  • I once experienced a dream within a dream.   I knew I was dreaming as I laid there awake and unable to move - then I thought I woke up and got out of bed and walked into my living room.  It wasn't until I realized that my apartment was on a steep slant that I realized I had slipped into other dream...  (Very unnerving!)
  • After I am able to move again - I am EXTREMELY unstable.  I stagger wildly like I'm loaded out of my mind, I am nauseated, and my head feels thick and heavy.  The only clear thought I have is that I have to physically move to escape the sleep paralysis experience - like if I stay still I might get sucked back under.  I swear to God - no alcohol or drugs have been involved in these experiences - but I definitely do feel heavily drugged.
  • I realized about 5 years ago that I only experience sleep paralysis when I lay down to sleep during the day.  I realized that if I sleep in an upright position during the day - I don't experience it.  Consequently, we have recliner sofas.  Oddly - I have never experienced sleep paralysis while laying down to sleep at night.

I once laid down for a nap after work (before the sleep paralysis episodes started), and woke up 28 hours later!  I can't tell you what a shock it was when I realized I had slept more than an entire day away!

I have had insomnia for as long as I can remember - even as a child.  Although I rarely have the overwhelming sleepiness others here describe - I am usually tired unless I am very busy at work.  Deadline pressures seem to keep my adrenaline levels high enough for me to be functional (and successful).  But when there is no work pressure - my fatigue sets in.  Being tired is so normal to me, I'm not even sure if my fatigue IS abornmal :(  Having said that - I have indeed experienced that overwhelming daytime sleepiness that I cannot fight.  It is always preceded by a significant heaviness and mental thickness that is difficult to describe.  I've had this often enough that I recognize what is happening and am able to prepare myself (mentally and physically) before I fall asleep.

When I do sleep during the day (not very often - despite the constant fatigue) - I ALWAYS dream.  It doesn't matter if it's only a few minutes - or hours.  I dream.  I didn't realize until a few days ago that this is not 'normal'....

Movies are often a high-priced nap.  I slept through more than half of the movie "2012".  The middle half.  If anyone has seen that movie, they will understand why sleeping through it is surprising.  It is action packed and loud.  But I don't just sleep through movies - I retain some degree of consciousness even though I can't keep my eyes open.  I call it 'watching with my eyes shut'.  To add another layer of 'strange' to this - when I am able to achieve full consciousness again and open my eyes, the entire part of the movie that I've 'watched with my eyes shut' completely disappears from my memory - like watching a soap bubble pop.  It is the polar opposive to forgetting your dreams after you wake up - I forget 'reality' after I wake up.  It's frustrating, because I'll be sitting there thinking that I can't wait to talk to my husband about something that just happened in the movie - but - after I wake up I forget everything I heard :(

These experiences do not occur daily - they are intermittent.  Perhaps 4 or 5 times a year, and seems to happen in cycles.  Once I experience one episode, I expect other episodes to occur for a period of time.  I had a bad day last Saturday.  Could hardly keep my eyes open, and was so out of it that even my husband was paying close attention to me.  I've been super sleepy ever since and have finally decided to talk to my doctor about going to a sleep clinic.  But - it would be nice if I knew if anyone else who has been diagnosed with Narcolepsy has had any of these experiences....



iceblueaccent iceblueaccent 51-55, F Aug 11, 2011

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