How to Treat and Manage Narcolepsy

What is narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a lifelong sleep disorder that makes you feel overwhelmingly tired characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and in severe cases, have sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks, cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle control), hypnagogic hallucinations (vivid perceptual experiences while falling asleep), sleep paralysis (a temporary inability to move or to speak that happens in the transition from sleeping to the waking state), and disturbed nocturnal sleep patterns 1). Narcolepsy doesn’t cause serious or long-term physical health problems, but it can have a significant impact on daily life and be difficult to cope with emotionally.

Narcolepsy can impact nearly every aspect of your life. Narcolepsy is dangerous because you can have excessive sleepiness or a sleep attack at any time of the day, in the middle of any activity including eating, walking or driving. Operating a vehicle with untreated narcolepsy can be very dangerous and some states even have laws against it.

Clinical features of narcolepsy usually begin in the teens or twenties, although diagnosis may be established years later. Onset after 50 years of age is unusual. The classic symptoms of narcolepsy are:

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