We all are familiar with ‘Kumbhakarna, the Ramayana character who used to sleep six months a year. However, a real-life Kumbhakarna is garnering attention these days in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district for sleeping 300 days a year!
This 42-year-old man named Purkharam suffers from a rare sleeping disorder known as Axis Hypersomnia. While normal people usually sleep for six to eight hours a day or maybe nine hours, Purkharam can sleep for 20-25 days at a stretch once he takes a nap.
According to medical studies, Axis Hypersomnia occurs when there is fluctuation in the protein of the brain called TNF-alpha.
Around 23 years back, Purkharam was first diagnosed with this rare syndrome, and since then his condition has affected his lifestyle as well as well-being. Once he sleeps, it becomes difficult for him to wake up. In fact, his family members perform the everyday chores for him, including feeding and bathing him when he’s asleep.
Due to his disease, he runs a small grocery shop in his village for five days a month. Even when sitting at his shop, he falls asleep many times while at work.
In the initial days, Purkharam used to sleep for 15 hours a day. His family had sought medical help, but his disease could not be cured. By 2015, his condition continued to aggravate as his period of sleep increased by many hours and later by several days.
Purkharam says that he remains fatigued most of the time and his productivity remains nil. He also has headaches despite taking medication and sleeping excessively.
However, Purkharam’s wife Lichmi Devi and his mother Kanvari Devi hope that he will recover soon and start living a normal life like before.
Kanvari Devi says the family is also into farming which helps them meet day-to-day expenses. However, she remains tensed thinking about the future of her son and two granddaughters.