I am awake at 2:00am . Not because I choose to.It is because I have narcolepsy. Sometimes people with narcolepsy lose sleep at night that is why narcolepsy /cataplexy is not a joke. I am awake just because today it isn’t a rainy day.I love the rainy days because I sleep so well .I just realized my sleep comes easy at night under cool temperatures while in the day it is the opposite. During the day ,I need the cool breeze to keep me awake . Just cool enough not too cold not too hot. That is why I always grub a spot next to the window. If I find all seats at the window occupied, it’s annoying because you have just set me up for a narcolepsy attack unless the room has an AC.

I am sometimes awake at night because I often get nightmares. Luckily enough today it wasn’t a nightmare. It was just one of those sleep hallucinations/ sleep paralysis. Those times when I am half asleep, half awake but dreaming. It is unexplainable.I can lie still in my bed for a couple of minutes just immediately after waking up but when am still sleeping / dreaming . It also happens in the first minutes after my nap during the day whereby am conscious but unconscious. My brain in awake but my body is asleep. Unable to talk or move or even respond to any question. Sometimes my brain is asleep but my body is awake. I can move but still confused and trying to get farmiliar with the surrounding yet experiencing tingling and numbness in my eyes, brain, palms and feet. Pretty wierd but I guess am now used. Today was a lucky night at least it wasn’t a nightmare.

Let’s talk about the night mares. I have been having nightmares ever since I was young.Mum and dad used to tuck me up in bed and wait for me till I sleep off. Then, they would switch off the light. But nightmares didn’t stop. I used to disturb dad a lot. I would walk to their room at night telling them I just had a nightmare. Then they would either let me sleep in their bed or take me back to sleep and watch me till I slept off. Even if I shared a room with my little sis. It didn’t stop the nightmares so I would ask to sleep with my big sis in her bed because it would help a little.

I fear the night because am afraid of nightmares. It was worse then those days before I started medication for narcolepsy. People claimed I used to sleep-talk and at times sleep-walk. I didn’t believe them. Till sometime when it got worse, I would dream about something then go and ask my big sis questions about it . She would be like no you are just dreaming wake up. Everybody thought something was wrong maybe they needed to pray for me . Little did they know these were just small signs of a sleep disorder.

Before ,I used to beat myself up for staying awake at night. I used to search for sleep till I could sleep again. I would get frustrated. But it is a different case nowadays. Acceptance has made it easy for me. I have learnt to find strength in this narcolepsy. People used to ask me how do you sleep in class and still manage to get good grades. Little did they know am a fighter. Narcolepsy is a disease I have but it will not be my weakness. Some people have seen me reading from 1am to 3am or even from 12am to around 4am if I choose to. They wonder how I do it not knowing my narcolepsy secret.

Since sometimes narcolepsy keeps me up at night ,these maybe my only productive hours why not use them. You never know what the day gat in stock for me with those random sleep attacks, low concentration and tiredness. So when am up at night, I try to utilize the time I missed in the day as much as I can. It is also good because the night is quiet and silent hence am more productive. Concentration is even better because destructions are not there as compared to the day when everyone is awake. That is narcolepsy for you?




  1. You my dear are a fighter
    Our society is not well equipped to handle some disorders and mental health issues.
    There’s just too much stereotyping , makes people afraid of seeking help.
    Good work here though. Thank you for sharing your story.


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