Sleep 03: Rip Van Winkle Syndorme

I originally found this link on Fark.com.

Apparently a rare disorder (that may be related to a bacterial or viral infection) can make teen agers sleep for weeks at a time. Medical professionals have reported some people sleeping up to a year.

The disease sounds as if it came straight out of Grimms’ fairy tales. Teens fall into a slumber, dozing weeks or even months at a stretch. Marathon sleeping spells come and go, cropping up intermittently for roughly a decade. Then, symptoms vanish as mysteriously as they first appeared.

Called Kleine-Levin syndrome, the condition is so rare that only a few cases have been reported in the world medical literature. Though the disorder is little known or understood, a flurry of recent research could change that. A few centuries ago, KLS might have been attributed to a witch’s curse. Now the hunt for its cause focuses on genes and infectious agents.


Sleep is a fascinating topic. For as much time as it consumes from everybody's life, we still know shockingly little about it.

1 comment:

Jon Clarke said...

God, that sounds wonderful.