HAPPY CATURDAY! You guys this is my first ever BIRTHDAY month with a narcolepsy diagnosis and treatment plan – sorry not sorry to brag *pops collar* – and to celebrate I’d like to welcome you to the very first #sleepawarenesssaturday! This is where I repost things I found on the internet, hold your face tenderly in my hands, and say lovingly “my dear, you might have a sleep disorder if…you experience this even after sleeping an average of at least 6 hours each night.” Or you might just be a perfectly healthy cat.
I do this because I love you and I have a “person-with-sleep-disorder-wants-to-save-you” complex and it should henceforth be known that I am desperately trying to make the world a more well-rested place. So let’s get started! Today’s #sleepawarenesssaturday is brought to you by an illustration from @bustle and @aus10cour:
I take issue with this illustration because it perpetuates the idea that waking up from a nap totally disoriented is something that a normal, healthy person experiences. A person with a healthy sleep structure only feels this level of disorientation if they are interrupted during a REM sleep cycle, which occurs after approximately 45 minutes of sleep.
So my dear, you might have a sleep disorder if you regularly wake up this disoriented from a nap of less than 45 minutes after sleeping 6-9 hours every night. This isn’t normal, despite pop culture telling you so. There are lots of different types of sleep disorders and I encourage you to talk to your primary care physician if a) you do not feel rested when you wake up in the morning, b) you have difficulty maintaining wakefulness throughout the day, c) you are easily disoriented when going in and out of sleep and d) one or more of a, b, c bothers you.
You can find sleep disorder resources, primarily narcolepsy, here. But there are also links to websites that are more broadly sleep disorder related.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Misty Bear, Nimbus, and the Narcolepsy Princess
Edited to add:
This here is a good, short article on sleep inertia and avoiding sleep inertia. The key thing I want to add is that sleep disorders cause sleep deprivation even if you are “sleeping.” So if you are doing everything “right” and still experiencing sleep inertia, it is worth getting checked out.