We all like to kid around about how sleeping a few extra hours would be like a gift sent from above. But what would happen if you could never wake up from your powernap? Even worse! What if you woke up only to realize you’ve been sleeping for months at a time? No one knows how destructive oversleeping can be than Beth Goodier, who was 22 years old in 2016. She was diagnosed with Kleine-Levin syndrome in 2011, and for the last couple of years, she’s been relying on her mom to take care of her while she dozes off.
Beth Goodier was just 17 years old when she fell asleep one day and couldn’t wake up “properly” for a full six month period. Instead of studying in university, going out with friends, dating around, and moving out of her parent’s house, Beth was forced to spend the next few years in and out of months-long sleep sessions, where she only woke up only long enough to be able to eat and go to the toilet.
It’s a Super Rare Condition
Beth’s condition has been dubbed, “Sleeping Beauty syndrome”, but this syndrome is actually quite a rare, debilitating disorder called Kleine-Levine syndrome (KLS). Only about 1 in a million people suffer from this condition all over the world. During an episode, a person may sleep for 15 to 21 hours a day, and act spacey and confused when they finally wake up.
Sleeping is the Easy Part
If Beth manages to wake up during an episode, she reports feeling in a daze. She’ll speak in a baby voice, starts acting like a child by throwing tantrums, and she’ll even shove a bunch of junk food all at once. She doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t, so she walks around the house in a total state of confusion. So, even though she is awake, she doesn’t really feel awake at all! She can’t do much other than watch TV and compulsively eat unhealthy foods when she is awake at those times.
It Lasts for Years
People who suffer from this condition start showing early signs of KLS when they are teenagers and can have around 20 episodes over the course of 10 years. During an episode, people can sleep most of the day for weeks at a time. Or like in Beth’s case, they could fall asleep for months at a time, even! Beth reports being asleep or undergoing episode for around 75% of the time ever since she started showing signs of KLS.
It Just Got Worse
In the first few years of her condition, Beth managed to live a pretty normal life when she wasn’t having one her “Sleeping Beauty” episodes. She had a boyfriend, ate healthy foods, and went to the gym any chance she could. She told BBC in 2014, that “Anything I can do to help my health I’ll do because I’m so unhealthy in other aspects.” However, in the past few years, Beth was also diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder, which unfortunately limits her mobility. She now spends most of her awake time in a wheelchair.
Doing Their Best to Stay Positive
Beth and her mother run a Facebook page where they occasionally update folks on Beth’s condition. They also sell some handmade crafts to raise money for Beth’s medical costs. They make sure to try to stay as active as possible by posting pictures of Beth, as well as inspirational messages and a link to a BBC video about Beth.
Staying in Touch
One of the latest posts on her Facebook page was written by Beth’s mom. She wanted to quickly touch base with her daughter’s followers and explain why they’ve been absent for a few months. Needless to say, Beth’s family were dealing with a lot! She wrote:
In 2016, after many new health problems and increasing amounts of constant pain, Beth was also diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can affect the entire body. During the last few
Needing Constant Care
Janine, Beth’s mother, takes care of her daughter full-time. It’s not like she’s got a lot of options, sadly. While Beth wishes she was able to move around and live independently, that doesn’t seem like a realistic option at the moment. Janine, who’s a single mother, had to even quit her job so that she could be available round the clock to take care of Beth. There is not much they can do when an episode starts other than wait it out and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
There Is Hope
KLS episodes usually get further and further apart until the condition seems to wear off. This usually happens around a decade after the syndrome first appears, with the average being 13 years. Janine holds out hope that this will be the case for her daughter, who will one day awake to fully live her life. We’re definitely crossing our fingers so that this lovely young lady is finally able to be in control and live a healthy happy life! If you’re curious about Beth’s diagnosis, then make sure to check out this eye-opening documentary that was released by the BBC:
Serial tea drinker. Professional wig snatcher. Content creator and video script writer who may or may not be John Leguizamo’s body double. If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.