All young girls have heard about the fairytale and wished to be sleeping beauty, but what happens it was to happen to us in real-life? A teenage girl from California has experienced just that and says it’s more of a nightmare than a fairy-tale!
Seventeen year old Nicole Delien suffers from the Kleine-Levin syndrome which is popularly known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. It’s a rare sleep disorder which affects a mere 1000 people in the USA.
This disorder is characterized by recurring periods of excessive sleep. It occurs as episodes or a bout which typically lasts from a few days to several weeks and is punctuated with periods of disorientation, irritability and hallucinations. The person suffering from KLS is described to be in a state of delirium similar to the one felt by a person waking up from anesthesia. Nicole, who is dubbed the “real-life sleeping beauty”, sleeps for up to 19 hours a day and had once slept for 64 days straight. She has only been awake for Christmas 3 times since she was 7 years old. Although an enviable state for insomniacs everywhere, Nicole feels it’s more of a nightmare than a fairytale. The bouts start abruptly and Delien says she starts to feel tired and then sleep. She has no memory of what happens during the episodes and he seems to be in a state somewhere between sleep and awake similar to what sleepwalkers experience.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the syndrome may be related to malfunction of the hypothalamus and thalamus, parts of the brain that govern appetite and sleep. The teen’s doctor suggests that the cause of the syndrome may somehow be triggered by illnesses or viruses. These bouts started when Nicole was six and a half years old and according to doctors they subside in approximately six years. So fortunately for all the sleeping beauties around the world, the nightmare resolves itself and the symptoms disappear after 6 to 8 years on an average. So that’s good news for the young girl who says, “It’s not fun because you miss out on a lot.”
Check out this video of her on today.com showing her in the middle of an episode and her interview in which she discusses her rare condition and how she deals with it. Also check out the story of Louisa Ball who also suffers from this disorder.