'Sleeping Beauty' Student Naps For Weeks At A Time

Everyone loves a good kip, right? There's nothing better; but what if you could nap for weeks at a time?

This is the reality for Rhoda Rodriguez-Diaz, from Leicester, who is known to sleep for up to 22 hours a day, only waking in a dream-like trance to eat junk food, drink and go to the toilet.

Known as 'sleeping beauty syndrome', the rare condition even caused the 21-year-old to fail her second year of university after she slept through her exams.

Rhoda, who studies psychology, said: "Life goes on whilst I'm sleeping. Reality hits me when I wake up and realise I've missed like a week of my life.

"I feel a huge setback when it does happen. I miss out on so much. That's the hardest part of it.

"It's hard to explain to people where I have been. Because it's so rare a lot of people struggle to understand."

Rhoda has suffered with the condition since she was a child but was only last year given a formal diagnosis. Credit: SWNS
Rhoda has suffered with the condition since she was a child but was only last year given a formal diagnosis. Credit: SWNS

As a child her GP believed she was suffering with hyper insomnia but after undergoing tests last year doctors finally discovered that Rhoda actually had the one-in-a-million Kleine-Levin Syndrome.

She said: "When I was 15 or 16 I remember finding myself sleeping more and more. Even at school I would fall asleep in the study area.

"I forced myself to go to school. I didn't get teased but I found it very frustrating.

"I was really into my sports but I couldn't do as much as I wanted to because I was constantly tired.

"I had to force myself to do every day activities and found myself mentally tired all of the time."

Rhoda added: "When I wake up after a few days I feel normal again. My friends say they can tell when I have an episode coming on because my mood changes.

"I get worked up and my behaviour changes drastically."

Last year her condition became so bad she failed her second year of university. Credit: SWNS
Last year her condition became so bad she failed her second year of university. Credit: SWNS

Last year she went through a particularly bad period, suffering a number of episodes which affected her studies.

In July it meant she didn't make it to several exams and missed important coursework deadlines - but she's now re-enrolled to resume her studies, and is sitting her second year again.

"I missed so many exams. 60 per cent of my course is exams and I missed half of them.

"It wasn't my fault. But they said this is an 'exceptional case' so I am allowed to go back.

"It's a big relief but I have to redo a lot of work I did in second year. It was difficult for me."

Rhoda added: "This is just a hiccup in my life and I am just waiting until it fades out. I want to be taken serious in life and this isn't helping."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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