In 2011, during spring break of his junior year in high school, Mat Sherman started to feel a little “funky.” “I thought it was a reaction to smoking some marijuana. I thought it was because I felt high at the time, so I went to bed,” Sherman explains. That was on Friday. Saturday he was fine and on Sunday, “this wall of disorientation and wall of sleep hit me. I had no idea what was going on,” he says. “It lasted for a week.”
Four years and about 19 episodes later, Sherman now has a name for what ails him: Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS), a rare sleep disorder affecting an estimated one to five people per million, according to a study published in the journal Nature and Science of Sleep. “There are only approximately 200 reported cases to date in the literature. It is a disease predominantly of teenagers, and boys are four times more likely to be affected than girls. ... Prevalence is slightly higher in the Ashkenazi Jewish population,” according to the study.