A woman suffering from a rare medical disorder falls ‘asleep’ every time she laughs or has an orgasm.
20-year-old Jessica Southall suffers from narcolepsy with cataplexy – a disorder which causes her muscles to relax when it kicks in, making it look like she’s sleeping.
Jessica gets so exhausted she has to sleep for up to 13 hours every day and even suffered a ‘sleep attack’ while she was giving birth to her daughter Briella.
Jessica told the Daily Star:
One minute I’ll be there in stitches laughing my head off, not able to stop… The next moment my head is on my chest or I’m lying on the floor.
I’m fully awake – I can hear everything but I can’t talk and I can’t move. I can’t respond or snap out of it until the emotion stops. To any other person it looks like I’ve fallen asleep.
It happens when I orgasm too. When me and my partner were first dating it was near enough every time.
I just had to explain to him it’s only going to happen when he makes me feel at my very best. But it’s not ideal. It might sound funny – and I do try to be light-hearted about it – but it’s horrible really.
Jessica began to suffer from her condition when she was 15 and had her first cataplexy attack at the age of 16 when her aunt told her a joke while Jess was carrying cups of tea.
After months of tests Jessica was diagnosed with the condition which affects the brain’s ability to regulate its normal sleep-wake cycle, as well as cataplexy.
According to Jessica this means she’ll fall asleep when she laughs, cries or experiences extreme pleasure.