A 10-year-old who sleeps for up to 20 hours a day thinks she is just like Sleeping Beauty, but her life is far from a fairy tale.
Jade Frazier may have Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that leaves sufferers constantly needing a nap. Some sufferers spend days, weeks or even months in periods of deep sleep, waking only to go to the bathroom or to eat.
Jade’s mom, Dee Frazier, of Kentucky, said life for her daughter is hard.
“It doesn’t matter where we are. She suddenly gets really, really tired and her eyes sink in,” Frazier told Caters News. “She loses all her energy. Then she will put her thumb in her mouth and she’s out. My heart breaks for her.”
The incurable condition, also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, means Jade has to take four naps a day. Although there is no specific test which detects the condition, doctors tested Jade to rule out other conditions.
On average, she sleeps 10 hours a day. Her disorder also causes developmental delays and has stunted her language growth. She has the mental age of an 8-year-old, her mom said.
“She loves Disney and Sleeping Beauty is one of her favorites, so she will say, ‘Well, that must be why I like sleep so much,’” Frazier said. “As a mom it is hard.”
As a newborn, Jade immediately slept through the night. Her mom thought she was being a “good baby.” When Jade began sleeping through school, Frazier began to worry.
Jade can’t participate in activities for kids her age. When she misses sleep, she throws tantrums and becomes aggressive, her mother said.
“She might stick her tongue out and she will take her shoes off and throw them across the room. Once she’s asleep I don’t wake her up because she gets so upset,” Frazier said. “I know it will be more beneficial for her if I let her sleep.”
Jade falls asleep “all the time, anywhere,” her mom said.
“She also fell asleep at the water park once. We were in a wave pool and she said, ‘Momma, I need a nap.’ We had to get out and she fell into a deep sleep,” Frazier explained.
But Jade can’t have stimulants because KLS also causes hyperactivity and irrational behavior, and medication could make it worse.
"She definitely sleeps more than other children and she misses out as a result," Frazier said. “It is not a fairy tale."