A university student has told how she suffers from a rare syndrome which means she sleeps for weeks at a time – and even napped through her exams.
Rhoda Rodriguez-Diaz, 21, from Leicester, has ‘Sleeping Beauty syndrome’ and can nap for up 22 hours a day, only waking in a dream-like trance to eat junk food, drink and go to the toilet.
At its worst, her sleeping episodes can last three weeks, and it meant she failed the second year of university after she slept through her crucial end-of-year exams.
“It’s really annoying when people call me lazy,” explained Rhoda.
“I do struggle to deal with the effects of it.
“But I’m determined to not let it have a big impact on my life. It is one part of me and not who I am. It’s frustrating because I can’t help it.”
As a child Rhoda was diagnosed with hyper insomnia – characterised by extreme tiredness – by her GP.
But it wasn’t until September last year that doctors finally discovered the psychology student had the one-in-a-million Kleine-Levin Syndrome.
Rhoda goes months at a time without experiencing an episode, but when they strike, she is totally wiped out.
“Life goes on whilst I’m sleeping,” she explained.