Narcolepsy and Your Health

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that can cause hallucinations, excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis and loss of muscle control. About 200,000 Americans have this illness. In addition to the symptoms above, narcolepsy has a domino effect that can cause even more serious problems. Keep scrolling to learn about the dangers of uncontrolled narcolepsy.

Driving Accidents

Every time you drive, you have to be alert. Patients with narcolepsy can sometimes have difficulty staying alert while doing this task. Since this illness causes excessive sleepiness, many narcoleptic people find themselves nodding off behind the wheel during a red light, traffic or on the highway. A few seconds of being asleep behind the wheel can cause a driving accident. Before stepping behind the wheel, make sure to access yourself, consult your doctor or ask your family friends if you have been alright.

Home Accidents

Your home is your safe haven. But when you have narcolepsy, it can also be a war zone. From cooking to taking a bath, falling asleep can be your worst nightmare. You can seriously injure yourself while at home if you do not get your narcolepsy under control. If you do feel an episode coming on, stop what you are doing and place yourself in a safe area. If you have family or friends over, let them know so they can handle the situation.

Additional Sleep Disorders

Additional sleep disorders can tag along when you have narcolepsy. Many patients recorded having sleep apnea, sleepwalking and REM sleep behavior disorder along with their narcolepsy. Sleep is necessary for every human being, so if you have any of these symptoms, you need to get in contact with a doctor to help you find treatments for these disorders. Once you have a specific treatment, you can have better sleep and control your narcolepsy.


Patients with narcolepsy tend to have depression as well. Many doctors believe this is due to having a condition that affects all aspects of your life. However, there are not a lot of studies or answers. If you have narcolepsy and find yourself having a lack of interest in things, having mood swings or are always down, contact your primary care physician right away.


Obesity and narcolepsy go hand-in-hand. Adults and children with this illness tend to weigh 15-20% more than others. In the first few months of having narcolepsy, a person can gain 10-20 pounds. And, if not monitored, it can get even worse. Doctors still do not know why this happens, but if you notice an excessive amount of weight gain, contact your doctor immediately.

A narcolepsy diagnosis is not the end of great sleep. If you notice any signs of narcolepsy, schedule a sleep study with Reliable MD. A sleep study will help your medical team determine what is the best treatment for you. For more information on the dangers of uncontrolled narcolepsy, symptoms, causes, and more, see our Narcolepsy Sleep Service page.

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