8 famous personalities with narcolepsy

Durban - Narcolepsy has been a well-documented sleeping disorder that affects one in a few thousand people.

Recently the Pietermaritzburg High Court granted an order that a KwaZulu-Natal matriculant be allowed an additional five minutes for every hour he writes exams due to his "sleepy" condition.

- Read more: 'Sleepy' pupil turns to court

Narcolepsy affects both men and women and symptoms often start in childhood or adolescence, but can occur later in life. The condition is life-long.

Narcolepsy is not rare, but it is an under-recognised and under-diagnosed condition.

Some well-known personalities who suffered from the condition include:

1. The late British prime minister Winston Churchill.

2.  Comedian Jimmy Kimmel: makes light of his narcolepsy by saying, "Truth be told, I'd rather have narcolepsy than not have it. When I get on a flight to Vegas, I'll fall asleep before the plane takes off and wake up after it has landed. I'm always very close to sleep."

3. Actress Nastassja Kinski: suffers from disorder and frequently discusses her condition publicly.

4. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was undiagnosed as a narcoleptic, but he claimed that he suffered from the condition in interviews.

5.  Thomas Edison was believed to have had it as he was photographed sleeping in his lab.

6.  Controversial comedian Lenny Bruce is understood to have taken medication to treat his narcolepsy.

7. Louis Braille: the man, who invented braille and helped the blind to read, was thought to have had it.

8. Author Teresa Nielsen Hayden takes medication to treat her narcolepsy.

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