Real-Life Sleeping Beauty Stays In Bed 22 Hours A Day

A rare disorder is to blame for this young woman's debilitating condition.

Sleeping Beauty

Fairy tales sometimes do no translate well in real life.

Meet this 20-year-old woman named Beth Goodier from Stockport, Greater Manchester, who suffers from an extremely rare illness that puts her into sleep 22 hours a day for weeks.

Goodier is just one of the unfortunate 1,000 people in the world who have the Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS), also known as the sleeping beauty disorder.

Her condition is so severe that during an average episode she can stay awake for a maximum of two hours every day. And even when she is conscious, her behavior is less than normal, as her illness makes her binge eat and act like a child.

KLS might sound like an ideal illness for slackers who want nothing more than just slumber for long periods. However, it is not that simple and enjoyable. It emerges at the age of 15 and goes mostly undetected or is misdiagnosed as epilepsy or narcolepsy. It then completely paralyzes the patient's life at an age that is crucial for building careers.

"I'm at the age now where I would love to move out because I'm ready," Goodie told BBC Inside Out. "But I can't because I need my mum's supervision for when I'm ill ... It's really frustrating."

Her mother Janine added: "When she's up, all she does really is, she's either in bed or on the sofa and she'll watch telly, often the same things over and over again as she likes predictability. On the odd time she's well we don't say any more, 'We'll do that next week.' We do it now when she's well because that might be the only time you get."

KLS takes 13 years to completely fade away on average, meaning it robs a person of his/her most productive years. And since its devastation isn't as visible as some other syndromes, it doesn't get the attention it deserves.

"They are at a crucial point in terms of their education, in terms of their social life, in terms of their family life and in terms of their working life,” said neurologist Guy Leschziner. "It's a very, very devastating condition in that regard because of its unpredictability.”

The Goodier family came forward to tell their story just so they could raise awareness about this debilitating illness and promote charity organization KLS Support UK.

Just to confirm that being a real-life sleeping beauty isn't what it sounds like, Goodier noted, "It's nothing beautiful, it's nothing romantic. It's horrible."