Narcolepsy

What is it?

Narcolepsy is when a person feels very sleepy during the day and falls asleep (not on purpose) during normal activities.  This disorder effects 1 out of every 2000 people.  It can affect men and women, gender doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Symptoms can start to show in childhood.

Narcolepsy can be dangerous.  If you have this condition you should be very careful when and if you drive.

People with narcolepsy can:

Fall asleep in the middle of activities.

Have dream like hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up.

Have disrupted nighttime sleep.

Have vivid nightmares.

Cataplexy is a type of narcolepsy that is caused by a chemical malfunction in the brain.  If your hypothalamus is damaged it will not release hypocretin.  Hypocretin is a brain chemical that keeps us awake and regulates our sleep cycle.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for narcolepsy, but with medication and behavioral modifications you can live a normal life.

If you think you may have narcolepsy:

Get diagnosed from a doctor.  This will include a physical exam, a medical history and most likely a sleep study.  Joining a support group, even online can help you manage your condition.

Key Points

  • 1Narcolepsy is not understood by the general public.
  • 2It is important to get a proper diagnosis and join a support group.
  • 3Narcolepsy is more common than you think. 1 out of 2000 people.

In narcolepsy, the normal boundary between awake and asleep is blurred, so characteristics of sleeping can occur while a person is awake.


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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