Man's 'Sleeping Beauty Syndrome' Is A Living Nightmare He Can't Wake Up From
Some of us dream of a long, uninterrupted sleep but Adelaide man Harry Dunn just wants to wake up.
Dunn, 21, suffers from Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS) - or as he likes to call it, 'sleeping beauty syndrome'.
It's a one-in-a-million neurological disorder and means he falls asleep with no idea when he'll wake up.
Dunn said his longest ever sleep lasted 41 days.
"I'm sort of like, in a state where I'm zombie-like for this long period of time and just have no idea of my surroundings," he told 10 News First.
"I sort of 'wake up' to eat, not knowing that I'm doing it, and I can shower, go to the toilet, not knowing that I'm doing it at all."
During these zombie-like episodes he still speaks - but his parents say when they talk to him he's emotionless, won't always respond, and looks straight through them.
And when he really wakes up, he has no recollection of what has happened.
"It's terrible. Lying there, not knowing what's going on around you, not knowing how to talk to people, just being pretty much cut off from the world," Dunn said of the condition.
Dunn first developed the condition at age 14, and at first, he said doctors struggled to diagnose him. Even his parents thought he was just a typical moody, sleepy teenager.
"If you see me for the first time in the episode, it's quite emotional," Dunn said.
"The first time my uncle showed me their baby, their daughter, I just had no idea who they were, what they said, and it was quite hard for them to see that."
The condition can strike at any time and there are no warning signs.
"I've missed out on sixteenth and seventeenth birthdays, I've missed a Christmas, I've missed a footy grand final, I've missed a cricket grand final," Dunn said.
There's no known cause or cure, but medical experts believe reduced blood flow to the hypothalamus in the brain could be to blame.
Doctors say Dunn should hopefully grow out of it with time.
By speaking out about his rare condition, Dunn hopes other sufferers will come forward to help experts get closer to finding a cure for KLS.
"I would love for there to be a cure or a treatment ... just someone to find out what is happening," he said.
Feature image: 10 News First
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