Sleeping Syndrome

In our new section SYNDROMIX, we take you through FICTIONAL CHARACTERS after whom syndromes have been named. This week we have the story of Sleeping Syndrome or Rip Van Winkle syndrome !

Who is Rip Van Winkle??

1Rip Van Winkle is a short story which was written by American Author Washington Irving and was published in 1819 as part of a collection which was entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.. Set in the years before and after the American Revolution war, it tells the story of Rip Van winkle who is an old colonial villager. While trying to escape his wife’s nagging , wandering up with the mountains with his dog , he finds his name being called. He lands up in a amphitheatre hollow like place where he sees old bearded men playing nine pins. On drinking some of their liquor, he falls asleep. On returning to his village no one recognizes him and he sees that portraits of king George was replaced by that of George Washington. Finally realization hits him that he has slept through the war for almost 20 years and his grown up daughter takes him in.

What is Rip Van Winkle syndrome?

It is also known as Klein Levin syndrome. A very rare sleep disorder known to affect teenage boys. Intermittent hypersomnolence, behavioural and cognitive disturbances, hyperphagia and in some cases hypersexuality have been observed. Each episode lasts for one or two weeks, and affected people are entirely asymptomatic between episodes.
During these periods of hypersomnia, patients usually get up to only eat food, have bath and cater to bodily functions. Even when they are active, quite a few of these patients report as the world being unreal to them . patients can sleep for many days and on an average sleep for 16 hours.
No known cause exists though there are theories to suggest a hypothalamic dysfunction.
Treatment includes CNS stimulants such as Amphetamine, Methyl Phenidate, Modafinil.
The syndrome is also referred to as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome after another famous fictional character.