What is it?
Narcolepsy is a relatively uncommon sleep disorder involving the body’s central nervous system and characterized by attacks of sleep. Narcoleptics may fall asleep at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places, such as while driving, talking, or eating. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
, narcolepsy can include having dream-like episodes while awake, sleep paralysis, and memory problems. Narcolepsy has a genetic component, so if one of your family members has been diagnosed with the condition, you may have an increased risk for narcolepsy as well.
Anyone with narcolepsy should see a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders. You may need to have an overnight sleep study as well as a daytime study which examines how quickly you fall asleep during quiet daytime situations. In many cases, narcolepsy is treated with medications.
To learn more about Narcolepsy, click on the following links for information from UpToDate
or the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
What is it? Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. Insomnia includes difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up too early, and having poor quality sleep overall. Insomnia can be a short-term or chronic problem brought on by stress, depression, changes in your sleep habits or surroundings, stimulants, or lack of regular exercise. It is common for people to have a poor night’s sleep every now and again, but if it happens repeatedly without explanation, you should consult a physician.
Treatment: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine explains that insomnia can be treated through proper management of current or new medications, but also emphasizes the need for proper sleep habits. Tips for getting more sleep.
For more information about insomnia, see the following links from Intermountain Healthcare: Insomnia: Topic Overview, Improving Your Sleep, and Should I Take Sleeping Pills?, as well as information from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.