The Two Different Types Of Narcolepsy

There are many reasons a person may not sleep well. However, a consistent inability to get deep and proper sleep may be the result of a medical condition. One of the most well-known sleep disorders is narcolepsy. Currently, the condition is believed to affect 1 out of 2,000 people in the United States and Western Europe, according to MedlinePlus. It is a condition in the brain that prevents a person from being able to form and regulate sleep-wake cycles. Because of this, it's possible for someone to undergo periods of extreme sleepiness in the middle of the day with no warning, explains Everyday Health.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is one of the best things you can do for good sleep health. It maintains your body's internal clock and lets you fall asleep faster and wake up easier, according to Harvard. Narcolepsy prevents this regular sleep schedule. However, there are two types of the condition.

The main difference is loss of muscle control

Narcolepsy can take a significant toll on someone's life, leading to problems with relationships and work. However, there are two forms of the condition that are not created equally.

Type 1 is the more severe of the two and involves a person periodically losing muscle control, according to Everyday Health. This can happen when the person has strong feelings, whether it's happiness or anger. Type 1 narcolepsy is also distinguished by the brain having low levels of the hormone hypocretin which helps regulate REM sleep, explains the NIH.

Type 2 is the milder type of narcolepsy, with no loss of muscle control and regular levels of hypocretin. The symptoms are usually milder, per Everyday Health. However, people with type 2 still get extremely tired during the day and will experience random moments of intense sleepiness, making it difficult to lead a normal life, according to Cleveland Clinic.