dealing with narcolepsy, wedding planning, a law degree and some new fitness goals…


So, if you think you have narcolepsy, its probably likely that at some stage you will get sent for one of these thrilling tests.  It’s called a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT).

Everything that happens in a polysomnography test is repeated for the MSLT.  So, it involves being hooked up to the electrodes again and then an overnight sleep test to ensure that the reason for any Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) is not due to a bad sleep the night before.

In the morning, instead of getting to go home.  You get to stay at the centre for more hours of testing!  You have lots of free time and can do pretty much whatever you like as long as it doesn’t involve drinking coffee, leaving the centre, or pulling off your electrodes in frustration.  You are allowed to get rid of the tube that goes up your nose, and the pulse reader on your finger which makes things more comfortable.  After your overnight study, you have 2 hours of free time (I studied).

Then the technician comes in and asks you to get into bed, they dim the lights and they ask you to sleep for up to 40 minutes.  I’m no technician, but basically they are interested in how quickly you fall asleep (sleep latency) and how quickly you fall into REM.  You are asked to sleep every 2 hours, for up to 4/5 times in the day.  Most people with narcolepsy wouldn’t have any trouble falling asleep for each of these occasions.

My results are summarised below:

Sleep latency = time it takes to fall asleep. REM = Rapid Eye Movement (Stage 5 of sleep)

It takes an average person about 40-90 minutes to enter REM.  As you can see from the above, it took me from from 13 to 1.5 minutes.

Basically this test confirmed what I had known for a few years.. That I have narcolepsy.


« Sleep studies

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