A Pennsylvania girl slept for 64 days in one long stretch due to a rare disorder colloquially called “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome.”
The girl who slept for 64 days is 17-year-old Nicole Delien, and the teen and her family have recently spoken out about her illness in quest for answers.
Delien is not suffering from your average teenage sleep-related issues, and experts say that the girl who slept for 64 days is instead afflicted with a rare disorder known as Kleine-Levin Syndrome.
A website describing the rare disorder explains that, like the girl who slept for 64 days, sufferers are prone to intense periods of extreme sleepiness, waking only to eat and attend to personal needs, and, even then, those afflicted don’t fully respond to stimuli before returning to a sleep state.
The site explains:
“The disorder strikes adolescents primarily. At the onset of an episode the patient becomes progressively drowsy and sleeps for most of the day and night (hypersomnolence), waking only to eat or go to the bathroom. When awake, the patient’s whole demeanor is changed, often appearing ‘spacey’ or childlike.”
“When awake he experiences confusion, disorientation, complete lack of energy (lethargy), and lack of emotions (apathy). Most patients report that everything seems out of focus, and that they are hypersensitive to noise and light. In some cases, food cravings (compulsive hyperphagia) are exhibited. Instances of uninhibited hypersexuality during an episode have also been reported.”
Mom Vicki Delien, whose daughter is the girl who slept for 64 days, says that doctors struggled for more than two years to diagnose her teen. Explaining how Nicole once slept from Thanksgiving through the New Year, she says the disorder is very difficult on the girl as well as the family:
“She’s never really adjusted to it… She’s 17 now and it really upsets her. She’s missed out on a lot.”
While the girl who slept for 64 days has not been cured of the Sleeping Beauty Syndrome from which she suffers, doctors have pinpointed a combination of drugs used to treat epilepsy and narcolepsy and reduced the episodes to about two a year.