If you have watched or read sleeping beauty ever in your life, you will probably remember a woman who is awoken from a deep enchanted sleep by a handsome prince, with whom she then rides into the sunset.
This real life sleeping beauty is nothing like that. From her life, we see the implications of actually having no control over your body’s sleeping patterns.
Nicole who is just 20 years old now suffers from a condition where she falls asleep and can’t wake up, and one episode saw her sleep for 64 days straight.
She has been diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS), a condition which means that she requires 24-hour care. She first experienced a sleeping episode at the age of 6. At the time, her doting mother assumed that Nicole was falling ill with flu as she was sleeping up to 18 hours a day.
At that young age, Nicole would be unable to understand what was happening and disoriented, she would not even be able to recognize her mum or family members.
Her longest episode happened before her 14 birthday at Thanksgiving and all she remembers is waking up in January the following year.
Her mum explained that the sleeping episodes can last from anywhere between 22 to 64 days straight and when Nicole awakens from her sleep, she is unaware as to how much time has gone by.
Sharing her fears, her mum explained further;
“Nicole will sleep 18 hours a day. The only time she wakes up is to eat…Her eyes are all glazed over. She’s in a sleep-walking phase. We do have to make sure she drinks water. We have to keep her hydrated.”
“My biggest fear is that she’s going to go into an episode, not wake up and maybe when she comes out of it, I possibly won’t be there for her. It’s scary living that day-to-day.”
KLS, also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, is a rare and complex neurological disorder and in fact only 1000 people worldwide are thought to have the condition and so far there is no known cure.
These real sleeping beauties are living anything but a fairytale as they battle a disease that is basically snatching their lives away.