Meet The Real Sleeping Beauty
A 20-year-old British woman suffers from a rare illness called the Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also known as the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ syndrome.
Because of this neurological disorder, Beth Goodier often sleeps up to 22 hours every night. And, when she’s not asleep, Beth is in a dazed state and unable to tell the difference between dreams and reality.
Her disorder started when she was only 16 and she has episodes about every five weeks, in which she sleeps from one to three weeks. When an episode strikes, Beth feels frustrated, disoriented and can eat lots of food. Her mother gave up work because she needs 24-hour care and supervision.
“I spend half of my life in bed. The onset for most people is adolescence, when you are at college, university, getting a job, finding out who you are. It [Kleine-Levin Syndrome] takes all that away from you at a crucial time. My life is on hold. I only remember snippets of an episode, so it’s like half of my life disappears. I’m at the age now where I would love to move out because I’m ready. But I can’t because I need my mum’s supervision for when I’m ill … It’s really frustrating.”
Beth’s family tries to make the most of the time when she’s awake.
“On the odd time she’s well we don’t say anymore, ‘We’ll do that next week’. We do it now when she’s well, because that might be the only time you get. ”
Around 1,000 people worldwide are affected by the syndrome, 70 percent of whom are men. Episodes can last between a few days to a few weeks, and there is still no cure for the sleeping disorder.