Health Plus: Narcolepsy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Narcolepsy

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Many people struggle with daytime sleepiness.

But when you fall asleep on-the-job or behind-the-wheel, it's likely more serious.

In Health Plus, one eastern Iowan is finally well-rested with the help of a local sleep center.

As a bank manager, Sheila Hagarty is on her feet alot.

But that didn't stop the 37-year-old from falling asleep at work.

"I could stand with my head on the counter and fall asleep.  Had no idea that anything was wrong.  Just thought because I was a mother, I worked full-time and I just figured I was exhausted."

Then a sleep scare happened while she was driving.

"That's what made me go see the doctor. I was driving to Dubuque with my kids in the car and I almost rear-ended a car on the interstate."

An overnight study at Covenant's Sleep Center in Waterloo revealed the mother of two has narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness.

"We call it sleep attacks. They are fine. Then they fall asleep," says Dr. Udaya Shreesha.

Now with the help of a prescription, Sheila is able to stay awake when she needs to.

"That's why we have a sleep center here where we go through extensive work-up and we are able to provide the diagnosis and treatment to the patients," he adds.

And peace of mind.

"When I was getting 9 hours of sleep every night and I was still falling asleep that was kind of a wake-up for me," she says.

Contact Covenant's Sleep Center to schedule an overnight stay to be analyzed.

The number in Waterloo is 272-8253.

Tara Thomas 

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