Teen Sleeps Two Months, Suffers 'Sleeping Beauty' Syndrome

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By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
June 19, 2012|8:04 am

Stacey Comerford recently woke up after sleeping for nearly two months. Comerford suffers from a condition known as Kleine-Levin Syndrome, alternately called "Sleeping Beauty" Syndrome, in which persons can sleep for up to 20 hours per day, for an unspecified amount of time.

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"When she's in an episode, she might get up to go to the toilet or get a drink, but she's not awake," her mother Bernie told The Sun. "When she wakes, she thinks it's the following day; she doesn't have any memory of it."

Kleine-Levin Syndrome, according to WebMD, is "a rare disorder characterized by the need for excessive amounts of sleep, excessive food intake and behavioral changes." Although it primarily affects teenage males, it can certainly affect young women. Comerford is only 15 years old, making her a prime candidate for the disorder.

"When she's in sleep mode, she can be quite moody but she can't help it," Bernie told the Daily Mail. "She's like a toddler who wants to do things her own way. She stamps her foot if she doesn't get what she wants. It's like having two different kids in the house."

This describes sufferers of Kleine-Levin syndrome exactly, as they "may exhibit irritability, lack of energy and experience hallucinations." There is hope, however, that the disorder will ease and even disappear as the person ages.

In Comerford's case, the disorder has caused significant problems with school and daily life. She was only able to attend 30 percent of her classes this year due to her need for sleep. Before being diagnosed, however, her bad attendance was cause for investigation by authorities.

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"Stacey's school thought I was deliberately keeping her out of school," Bernie explained. "They've stopped now we've got a diagnosis. I always knew there was something wrong; I know my daughter. We can't plan anything because Stacey might be asleep. She could go to sleep tonight and wake up next week."

"We try and laugh and joke about it because it's the only way to get through it," Bernie said.

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