29 May 2016

Somnipathy

A series of illustrations on sleep disorders

Somnipathy: 8 hours of sleep

About the project

After a period of poor sleep I became fascinated with the variety of sleep disorders that exist. This illustrated series was the result of studying how sleep disorders manifest.

As a baseline, I defined healthy sleep as follows: "the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored". During this period, the metaphorical mental sheets of paper we write on during the day are cleaned, organized, and recycled. In the four sleep disorders that follow, this mechanism is disturbed in diffent ways.

somnipathy insomnia

Insomnia

The prolonged inability to get enough sleep. Possible effects include memory problems, depression, increased risk of heart disease and getting into accidents, high blood pressure, irritability, and adverse effects on work- and social life.

somnipathy hypopnea syndrome

Sleep hypopnea syndrome

A respiratory disorder in which breathing is interrupted or even stops episodically during sleep. Airflow may repeatedly be blocked for up to 60 seconds, resulting in a series of transient, gasping awakenings. Effects include depression, headaches, memory loss, respiratory infections and changes in mood and personality.

somnipathy night terror

Night terror

A sleep disorder in which patients experience extreme fear and anxiety during sleep, waking up screaming, sweating, and making motions as if trying to escape or fight. After waking, patients display inconsolable anxiety similar to a panic attack. Night terror typically occurs in boys aged 5-7, but may also occur in adults as a result of PTSS, anxiety disorders, or substance abuse.

somnipathy kleine-levin syndrome

Kleine-Levin Syndrome

Also known as "sleeping beauty syndrome": the periodic return of episodes in which a patient sleeps between 15-21 hours a day, continuing for up to months. Although the concept might sound peaceful, KLS involves changes in mood and cognitive ability, and causes patients to experience primal cravings such as extreme hunger (polyphagia) and sexual drive (hypersexuality). The condition severely disrupts social and work life, and may lead to weight gain. KLS affects boys three times as often as girls, and primarily occurs in teenagers.