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There IS a difference between laziness and narcolepsy

23 Jan

So who’s familiar with narcolepsy? For anyone who isn’t, the definition according to Wikipedia is:

“Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.[1] People with narcolepsy often experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and an abnormal daytime sleep pattern, which often is confused with insomnia. Narcoleptics, when falling asleep, generally experience the REM stage of sleep within 5 minutes, while most people do not experience REM sleep until an hour or so later.”


“The main characteristic of narcolepsy is Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), even after adequate night time sleep. A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or fall asleep or just be very tired throughout the day, often at inappropriate times and places. Daytime naps may occur with little warning and may be physically irresistible. These naps can occur several times a day. They are typically refreshing, but only for a few hours. Drowsiness may persist for prolonged periods of time. In addition, night-time sleep may be fragmented with frequent awakenings.”

Now, you might be wondering why I’ve gone all Bill Nye the Science Guy right now, but there is a point so bear with me. See, I have narcolepsy and it’s surprisingly not at all fun in any way. The reason I’m getting into this is because I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs lately, yet I am well aware that having narcolepsy makes working traditional hours extremely difficult to do on a consistent basis. The worst part of this is that people tend to misconstrue an actual medical issue with simple laziness, and I doubt you’ll find many employers who don’t subscribe to the same philosophy.

To give you an idea of what it’s like, let me pose a question: how many people have slept for 27+ hours straight with only a single five minute period of wakefulness to go to the bathroom during that entire time? How many people have awoken from that lengthy slumber just as exhausted as they were when they initially fell asleep? Anyone besides me? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Continue reading