A student recently earned the nickname “Sleeping Beauty” because of her rare medical condition that makes her extremely exhausted and she can sleep for a whole week.
Yup, a full week of sleep, without even waking up to eat, drink, or going to the bathroom.
Hermione Cox-Denning was recently diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, after having the condition for three years.
The doctors at first thought that she was suffering from the flu or from a winter bug, but it turned out that she has a rare neurological condition that makes her fall asleep and not move for days.
The 18-year-old has recently discovered that such episodes that makes her flat out for days can be easily triggered by a particularly boozy night. She says:
“It took me a long time to see what was triggering this for me. I knew it wasn’t stress and I couldn’t see a particular food pattern.
“I realised that when I drank alcohol, I would often have an episode the next day.
More than one or two drinks causes her to plunge into a deep sleep for days afterward. She’s a real-life Sleeping Beauty.
However, this is no laughing matter. The condition has a very serious impact on her life and it is very hard for Hermione to apply for a job or for a university. She says that when she has an episode, her mind is very confused. She doesn’t eat, drink, speak, or even go to the toilet. It’s like her body shuts down completely.
The first time it happened, her friends were very worried because she just disappeared.
When she first went to see a doctor, he told her that it was depression and mental health issues. Her dad noticed that it wasn’t normal, because she was sleeping for full days. She felt that it was something physical.
After several years, a diagnosis was eventually given to her in March 2018. The process of figuring out what triggers it has just begun, so she is taking a gap year before university in order to get the illness under control.
“Eventually I would like to study veterinary medicine. My plan is to stay close to home though. I’m still having my episodes regularly.
“I will sleep pretty much continuously for three days. On the fourth day, it will start to ease, and I’ll get up, go to the toilet and have something to eat.
“It takes about four days after that to get back to normal.”
We really hope that the situation will improve for her!