Marie Claire October 2011 Magazine Features REM Runner, Julie Flygare, in Narcolepsy Article

I am thrilled that this month’s Marie Claire magazine (October 2011 with Reese Witherspoon on the cover) features a two-page health article about my journey with narcolepsy called, “Eyes Wide Shut.

MC’s Senior Editor contacted me last summer about the possibility. We interviewed for 6 hours over three days.  She asked lots of questions and listened patiently.  She genuinely empathized.  I told her a few things I hadn’t told close friends and family yet – important parts of the story I wanted to share but hadn’t found the courage.

Concluding our interviews, the Editor had over 40 pages of notes. I wasn’t sure how she would synthesize all this into a magazine-length article. Luckily, writing a memoir, I get more space to delve into the topic!

Last night, I entered Walgreens at 9:50pm – ten minutes before closing. I walked to the magazine section and saw Reese Witherspoon smiling at me from the rack. I smiled back, but froze momentarily…

The excitement of seeing the magazine caused a slight muscle weakness of cataplexy.  I wanted to reach for the magazine, but paused for a few seconds to let my wave of happiness and cataplexy pass.

When I felt more secure, I eagerly grabbed the magazine and flipped through – needing to see it with my own eyes to truly believe it!

The Features Editor, Sophie, did an amazing job capturing the story perfectly. I get teary-eyed reading the ending every time!

I was diagnosed with narcolepsy almost 4 years ago exactly, on Sept 18th, 2007.  For the first two years, I kept my experience to myself.

Upon realizing that many primary care doctors are unaware of narcolepsy, I collaborated with Harvard Medical School researchers to create a 5 hour educational program about narcolepsy and the neurobiology of sleep, now taught to all Harvard Medical Students.

Once I began speaking up, I couldn’t stop.  In the past two years, I’ve written a memoir and worked towards raising awareness and funds for narcolepsy research with Wake Up Narcolepsy, Inc.

It’s been a wild adventure – nothing I ever expected, but more meaningful than I ever imagined.  Please contact me with any questions or comments.

Julie (a.k.a. the REM Runner)

Check your local store for the magazine! The interview with Reese Witherspoon is fascinating, too. To read online: click here.

Fellow blogger’s review: Manic Ramblings of Marcianna


  1. Anonymous on September 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Can I say it one more time?? I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

  2. Anonymous on September 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    You amaze me and inspire me! Your voice and personal journey will help so many!

  3. Christine on September 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Such an incredible achievement!!! It has been my privilege to learn about this from you over the last few years and it is so exciting to see you have an outlet to share it with the world. Love you!

  4. pha on September 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Congrats jules!!! I've already been bragging about this great press!

  5. queenofsleep on September 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Really brave of you! Is there any possibility to read the article somewhere online?

  6. REM Runner on September 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for your kind comments. It's an honor to share my journey here and in Marie Claire!

    The online article will be up soon, and I will post it when available. Stay tuned!

  7. Amanda McGrath on September 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Congratulations Julie! Can't wait to read the article!

  8. sbeaulieu on September 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    congrats!! I will be on my way out to make the purchase!!
    =) can't wait!!

  9. Anonymous on September 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Julie, I am so glad I met you! You continue to do amazing things to help people with narcolepsy. Thanks for all you do and the courage you have to speak up! My son will thank you someday too! MG

  10. Anonymous on September 21, 2011 at 11:15 am


    I just came to your blog from a link on I'm so happy that I found your blog, and I cannot wait to read the article in MarieClaire. In fact, I put a reminder on my calendar so that I won't forget to purchase it!

    I was diagnosed with narcolepsy on 9/12/2011, a mere 9 days ago. I spent the months before receiving my official diagnosis reading up on the disorder and reading stories about others with narcolepsy. The thing that saddened me the most is the fact that so many people with narcolepsy feel that they are alone. They don't speak out about what they are going through for fear that others just won't understand. But how are we to ever hope others will ever understand if we don't talk about it? I decided the day I was diagnosed that I would not suffer in silence any longer.

    It's so awesome to have found your blog and to know there are others that are willing to put themselves out there to raise awareness. Thank you.

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