What is sleeping beauty syndrome?

Sleeping beauty syndrome’s medical name is Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS). This rare and complex medical condition is categorized as a neurological disorder. People with sleeping beauty syndrome suffer from a need of excessive amount of sleep ( up to 20 hours a day), behavioral changes and reduced understanding of the world.

What causes sleeping beauty syndrome?

Sleeping beauty syndrome, or Kleine-Levin syndrome, tend to strike adolescents rather than other age groups, and males rather than females. It is not known what the exact causes of KLS are. However, some experts believe that in certain cases, genetic factors may have some contribution. They also think that this disorder develops when some portion of the brain whose mission is to regulate sleep, appetite, and body temperature does not get enough of the nutrition requirement. Meanwhile, other experts think that Kleine-Levin syndrome may be an autoimmune disorder.

How does sleeping beauty syndrome affect one’s life?

At the onset of an episode (each time the condition hits) patients with KLS become really drowsy, then they would sleep for all day and night long. They sometimes wake up to eat or go to the bathroom. Each episode would last for days, weeks or even months. During this period of time, the patients can not perform their regular daily activities, such as going to work, attending school or taking care of themselves.

When waking up, patients suffer from confusion, disorientation, and hallucination. Plus, they may completely run out of energy (lethargy) and lack of emotions (apathy). Many people also state that they can not stay focus and become hypersensitive to noise and light. In certain cases, patients develop unexplained food cravings (compulsive hyperphagia, excessive food intake). Other times, there is also abnormally uninhibited sexual desire.

When the episode is over, patients with KLS get back to the normal routine, showing no problems with their behavior or physical health. Between episodes, patients do not show any symptoms of the disorder; however, KLS episodes can reoccur later in life with little warning signs. KLS episodes may recur for up to 10 years or more, stealing big pieces of one’s lifetime.

Do I have sleeping beauty syndrome?

There is no medical test to know if one is affecting by sleeping beauty syndrome. If you doubt that you may have KLS, seek help from your doctor.

Below is the KLS symptom checker developed by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (2005). Accordingly, an individual may suffer from sleeping beauty syndrome if they have symptom A, one or more of the features in B, and the patterns described in C.

A: Recurrent hypersomnia (from 2 to 31 days)

B:

  • Cognitive problems, including unreality, confusion and hallucination
  • Behavioral changes, including irritability, aggression and odd behavior
  • Binge eating (overeating)
  • Hypersexuality

C: Besides the symptoms above, people have long periods of normal sleep, cognition, behavior, mood

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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