Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a relatively uncommon sleep disorder that involves the body’s central nervous system and is characterized by attacks of sleep. Narcolepsy affects about 1 in 2,000 people, both men and women of any age. A person with narcolepsy is likely to fall asleep at inappropriate times and places. Daytime sleep attacks may occur with or without warning and can occur repeatedly in a single day. Nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent arousals. While there is not yet a cure, recent technology and pharmacology has allowed those with this sleep disorder to live normal lives.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden loss of muscle control (Cataplexy)
  • Low concentration
  • Vivid dream-like experiences while dozing or falling sleep or waking up (Hypnagogic Hallucinations)
  • Temporary inability to talk or move when falling asleep or waking up (Sleep Paralysis)
  • Occupational/school problems

TREATMENT:

  • Medication including stimulants and anti-depressants
  • Changes in behavior to encourage good night time sleep
  • Scheduling short naps (10 to 15 minutes) two to three times per day to help control excessive daytime sleepiness.