Kleine-Levin: Imaarl Duprey, 23, sleeps for 59 DAYS because of 'Sleeping Beauty' Syndrome

By // Health | Kleine-Levin: Imaarl Duprey, 23, sleeps for 59 DAYS because of 'Sleeping Beauty' Syndrome
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Imaarl Duprey suffers from Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes patients to fall into a sleep-like trance for days on end
  • Dubbed a Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, an episode can cause a patient to become irritable, behave in a childlike way and overeat significantly
  • Despite the disorder, Imaarl has managed to gain a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths University in London

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 04:51 EST, 21 August 2013 | UPDATED: 06:43 EST, 21 August 2013



A young woman suffers with an incredibly rare disorder that causes her to sleep continuously for days and sometimes months on end.

Last year Imaarl Duprey, 23, slept almost continuously for 59 days and behaved as if she was a small child during the episode.

The graduate suffers from Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS) - dubbed Sleeping Beauty Syndrome - which affects just 1,000 people in the world and can cause her to become incredibly drowsy without warning.

Imaarl Duprey

Imaarl Duprey, 23, suffers from Kleine Levin Syndrome, that causes her to fall in to sleep-like trances, become irritable and disorientated as well as want to eat excessive amounts of food

Imaarl, a fashion worker from Lewisham, London, is left in a dream-like trance or acts erratically during the few hours when her family wake her to ensure she eats, drinks and uses the bathroom.

She relies on round the clock care and assistance from her mum Kerry Griffiths, 46 and sister Shahnequa Duprey, 21.

'It’s had a really big impact on me and my family,' Imaarl said. 'In the early days of having KLS my mum thought I could be having a breakdown - I thought the same. I need constant supervision. My sister has been forced to miss university lectures and my mum has taken a lot of time off work.


Kleine-Levin Syndrome is a neurological condition that starts during adolescence, and sometimes begins after an infection or illness.

It is characterised by periods of excessive sleep of up to 20 hours a day. Episodes can come on very quickly and last between a few days to a few weeks.

During such an episode a sufferer may be irritable, childish, disorientated and want to eat excessive amounts of food.

Patients return to normal between episodes, however they may become depressed as a consequence of the condition.

1,000 people worldwide suffer from the disorder, which is commonly known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. 70% of sufferers are male.

There is no known cure for the sleeping disorder, and the main treatment is watchful waiting at home by loved ones.

Research suggests episodes decrease in frequency and intensity over the course of 8 to 12 weeks.

'The condition has become a punishment for them, as well as me. I don’t know how I’d cope without them.

Mother Kerry, a teaching assistant, said: 'If it was just sleeping it would be so much easier.

'When I wake her so she can use the bathroom or eat something, she’s a different person completely.

'Imaarl’s gone. She’s somewhere else. She’s replaced by a toddler. It’s been a stressful time.'

Imaarls first developed the condition in 2008. She was 18-years-old when she slept for 10-days after a family party.

The episode was dismissed as a one off and Imaarl headed off on her first holiday with friends to Ayia Napa later that year.

But the drowsy symptoms of KLS returned and she only knew she’d been away after waking up with a sun tan.

Imaarl recalled: 'While I was at the airport waiting for my flight I was feeling fuzzy, but I thought it was the excitement and early start, and nothing sinister.

'When we reached Ayia Napa I had this drunken feeling, even though I hadn’t been drinking. I knew something wasn’t right, but I thought I could deal it or it would pass.

'One night I was in a club and I remember lying on the floor. Everyone was walking past me. Luckily, a group of teachers from my hotel found me and took me back to my friends. It’s terrifying to think what could have happened.

For most of the week long holiday, Imaarl fought off the sleep symptoms of KLS, but when she was back home she slept for ten days.

Imaarl Duprey

Vulnerable: During an episode, Imaarl, sleeps for days on end. She needs round the clock care to help ensure she is safe and make sure she gets enough food and water

'The holiday was a blur,' Imaarl continued. 'When I woke up the only reason I knew I had been away was my tan.'

Imaarl visited her doctor  but did not get an answer - one GP dismissed her symptoms as simply being ‘typical teenage behaviour’.

Indeed It took years for Imaarl’s KLS to be properly diagnosed, as there is no test for the condition and it has to be established through a process of elimination with other disorders.

She underwent scans for a brain tumour and tests for narcolepsy at King’s College Hospital in London.

'It was traumatic, but in a way I was almost hoping for a brain tumour, because at least then I would know what was happening and there would be doctors and surgeons who could help,' she explained.

'With KLS there is so much uncertainty. You’re on your own. That’s the scary thing.'

Imaarl Duprey

Despite her debilitating condition, Imaarl (pictured, right, with sister Shahnequa) managed to graduate with a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London

Leading a normal life became difficult for Imaarl, but she was determined to complete her psychology degree at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Imaarl continued: 'At times I would suffer from extreme tiredness. I missed deadlines and had to leave classes because I was too exhausted.

'Some people assumed I was lazy or going to parties all the time. As time went by I started to recognise when an episode was starting.

'It’s like you’re going under anaesthetic. You’re floating in and out of consciousness. You can feel it coming on.

Imaarl Duprey

During her time at university Imaarl would suffer from extreme tiredness. She missed deadlines and had to leave classes because she was exhausted

'One day I came out of a class at university and I just started crying. I was completely disorientated. I couldn’t remember how to get home. I had to call my mum for directions, as she drove to find me.'

In 2010, Imaarl suffered an episode that lasted a month and she missed vital exams which meant she had to re-sit her final year.

Her mum said: 'I knew how devastated she was going to be when she came round. She sobbed her heart out when she found out she had been sick again.'

During an episode, life changes dramatically for Imaarl, and her mum and sister.

As KLS heightens noise and light sensitivity, Imaarl sleeps with the curtains drawn, conversations are kept to whispers, the TV is virtually silent and visitors are turned away.

Kerry said: 'When a GP arrived to see her, she was absolutely hysterical. She was sobbing, completely terrified. She can only cope with me and her sister.'

To make sense of life within an episode, Imaarl will follow a repetitive routine when she’s awake.

She watches movies on repeat and eats the same food constantly, while Kerry and Shahnequa ensure Imaarl eats properly and stays hydrated.

'Last time it was Wotsits and McDonalds,' says Imaarl. 'It must be the only way I can make sense of what’s happening. It’s the only thing I have control over.

In December 2012, Imaarl graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a degree in Psychology.

Kerry added: 'She did amazingly well to get through it in the end. We’re all really proud of her.'

A month later and Imaarl was hit with an episode that lasted two months, between January and March.

Imaarl Duprey

Imaarl said: 'I¿m a happy person in everyday life and I don¿t want KLS to overtake me. I¿m not sure about the future, but I want to stay positive'

'For two years I hadn’t suffered a significant episode,' Imaarl said. 'I thought it might have been over.

'It can be depressing, because I have no control over the condition and there’s no effective treatment or cure.

'I’m a happy person in everyday life and I don’t want KLS to overtake me. I’m not sure about the future, but I want to stay positive.

Dr Guy Leschziner, Consultant Neurologist and Sleep Physician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said: 'KLS is a very rare neurological disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of profound sleepiness, typically lasting days or weeks.

'The typical picture is that of a young teenager, who becomes confused, has pathological eating to excess and sometimes aggression or other personality changes during these episodes.

'The condition can be potentially devastating, as it can ruin young people’s social, educational and social lives.

'The cause is unknown; there may be a genetic or autoimmune component to it, but this is at present very speculative.

'It remains unclear whether KLS is one disease or other are a number of slightly different conditions that have common features.

'As the disease is very rare, even experts will have seen relatively small numbers of patients.'

For more information about Kleine Levin Syndrome, visit KLS Support UK at

  • - An out-of-control New York City taxi hit a cyclist Tuesday morning beneath the Rockefeller Centre Pictured: British fashion graduate, 23, whose foot was...
  • Chris Lane murderTwo teens 'who shot dead Australian student in the street...
  • Twitter row: A picture of a 17-year-old girl performing a sex act, of which this is a censored version, has been circulated online along with cruel comments about the teenager'Distraught' girl, 17, faces humiliation on the web after...
  • Syria poison gas attackGenocide in Syria as 1,300 people including hundreds of...
  • First pitch for Tae-Mi Best first pitch ever? South Korean actress is latest to...
  • 'All-nighter': Moritz Erhardt, 21, had been working gruelling hours as an intern at an investment bankInvestment bank intern, 21, on £45,000 worked 'until 6am for...
  • Elena ChernyakovaDoctor 'took photos of drunk model, 23, while she was in ER...
  • An SUV with Rhode Island license plates was seen driving past the victims' BMW. Someone inside the SUV fired multiple rounds into the car and then sped off.Handgun used in 2012 double murder tied to NFL star Aaron...
  • Making a splash: The homeowners posted a super-sized note for all their neighbors to see today on the glass shower cubicle in Brooklyn, New YorkCouple who built floor-to-ceiling glass shower put up a...
  • Princess Beatrice (left) walks on a St Tropez beach last month. The royal has quietly left her job at the investment capital firm Busy Bea's summer of non-stop fun: Princess Beatrice quietly...
  • A shooter has been taken into custody after opening fire at an Atlanta-area school and no one was injured at the sceneAtlanta school hero reveals she told shooter she loved him...
  • iPhone photo contestHigh art on a mobile phone: The incredible photographs taken...
Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... Full story

Comment on: Kleine-Levin: Imaarl Duprey, 23, sleeps for 59 DAYS because of 'Sleeping Beauty' Syndrome

Rate this article


Breaking News

'If you're struggling, put your hands up. It'll change your life': Buddy Franklin is the picture of health as speaks publicly for the first time about battle with mental illness 

Buddy Franklin optimistically told fans he is 'feeling good' after time offThe athlete withdrew from AFL season in September to seek medical helpHe has not ...

The moment a truck explodes and turns in to a fireball on a highway

Truck engulfed in flames explodes on the side of a motorway in BrisbaneThe wheels were blown out and the front cabin was guttedThe driver ...

Jeremy Clarkson reveals new prototype drones for Amazon Prime Air deliveries - and explains how the service will work with a landing pad customers lay out in the yard

Clarkson presents new video showcasing Amazon's planned drone service Ex-Top Gear host reveals how the proposed Prime Air deliveries will workHumorous advert shows a family dog ...

'12 Days of Christmas' items top $34K, up 0.6 percent

The items in the song 12 Days of Christmas  is used to track inflationThe price of all the items listed in the song has increased ...

Paedophile Stuart Hall lands job as a tailor in prison making curtains

Paedophile Stuart Hall was jailed for series of sex offences on young girlsThe 87-year-old is understood to have been given a job as a tailor ...

ANZ online banking goes down for more than six hours

Thousands of customers were left unable to use ANZ online bankingBank suffered 'technical issues' during a major upgrade on MondayGoMoney app was affected and online ...

Lottery winner Peter Congdon who banked £13.5m 'still lives in his council house'

Great-grandfather Peter Congdon scooped £13.5million in a draw in MayAt the time, he said he wanted to celebrate with family trip to Butlin'sAnd the 67-year-old ...

George Osborne vows to crack down on NINE industries over rip-off bills

Chancellor George Osborne to unveil a 25-page ‘blueprint for a better deal’Treasury sources have claimed it could save the average family £470 a yearOsborne said ...

PM urges EU progress on renegotiation discussions: Cameron demands talks over his migrant benefits curbs - despite there being little hope of agreement

EC President receives 'mixed response' in talks on Britain's demandsSeveral countries remain implacably opposed to David Cameron’s callPM wants to bar migrants from benefits for first ...

Girl, 9, who dived into a freezing cold pool to save her baby brother

Bella Gilliland, 9, was hailed a hero after saving her 18-month-old brother Her younger brother Jobe had wandered through a gate and fell in the poolShe ...