Get Inside the Mind of a Narcoleptic 20-something

“Paralysis” “Convulsions” “Bizarre” “Frightening” “Anxiety” “Depression”

These are just a few of the words you’ll find on this narcolepsy infographic, posted by Tumblr user needlenightnemesis.

Like needlenightnemesis says, narcolepsy is everything but “uncomplicated.” Source:

If you don’t live with narcolepsy, a quick peek at the graphic above will give you some insight into what living with narcolepsy is really all about–both physically and emotionally.

For example, those with narcolepsy might enter the REM stage of sleep in as little as 15 minutes, whereas non-narcoleptics could take 100 minutes to reach the REM stage.

Those with narcolepsy also miss out on stages three and four of the sleep cycle, which are responsible for restfulness and regeneration.

But what does all of that really mean? Well, it can result in mental health problems such as social phobias, depression and anxiety.

Because of the REM abnormality, narcolepsy may also result in the inability to move or talk upon waking, along with auditory or visual hallucinations prior to or following episodes of sleep. And emotional triggers such as laughter, fear, anger, or grief can lead to cataplexy, or the sudden and temporary loss of muscle tone.

Even if you know all about disturbed nocturnal sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, automatic behaviors, and sleep paralysis/hallucinations, I would still encourage you to check out to get deeper inside the mind of someone living with narcolepsy.

In popular culture, narcolepsy is depicted as simple–fall to sleep, hit the ground, cue laughter. Reality is completely different. How has narcolepsy affected you? Add your own unique and complex tale to the conversation.

James Ernest Cassady

James Ernest Cassady

Though "Ernest" is a family name that's been passed down for generations, James truly earned his middle moniker when, at the age of five, he told his mother that "laughing is stupid unless EVERYBODY is happy." Since then, the serious little bastard has been on a mission to highlight the world's shortcomings (and hopefully correct them). In addition to his volunteer work at hospitals and animal shelters, James also enjoys documentaries and the work of William Faulkner. He is originally from Oklahoma.

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