Providing Health and Well Being Through Proper Sleep Will Change Your Life

Narcolepsy is a chronic condition for which there is no cure. People who have narcolepsy experience extreme exhaustion and find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine. Medications and lifestyle changes can help people manage the symptoms of this condition, although every person is different and may not experience the same relief.


The signs and symptoms of narcolepsy are extremely noticeable. They include:

  • Extreme daytime sleepiness

    People who have narcolepsy often fall asleep with no warning, at any time during the day.

  • Decreased alertness

    People who have narcolepsy find it hard to remain focused throughout the day, which makes completing everyday activities very difficult.

  • Sudden loss of muscle tone

    This condition, called cataplexy, is part of narcolepsy. Many people experience them together. Cataplexy can result in slurred speech and complete muscle weakness.

  • Sleep paralysis

    People who have narcolepsy can experience a temporary inability to move or speak while they are drowsy. While these episodes are usually brief, they can be very frightening because you have no control over your own body in the moment.

  • Changes in REM sleep

    For most people, REM sleep is when you get the deepest sleep and begin to dream. For people with narcolepsy, this stage of sleep can occur at any time – even in the middle of the day.

  • Hallucinations

    People with narcolepsy experience very vivid hallucinations called hypnagogic hallucinations. These hallucinations may be quite frightening because you may not be fully asleep when you begin dreaming and you experience your dreams as reality.


Unfortunately, the cause of narcolepsy is unknown. People with narcolepsy have low levels of the chemical hypocretin in the brain, which regulates wakefulness and REM sleep.

It is highly likely that genetics play a part in the development in narcolepsy. However, the risk of a parent passing this chronic condition is only about one percent.

Risk Factors

There are two known risk factors for narcolepsy, including:

  • Age

    This chronic condition usually begins in people who are between the ages of 10 and 30.

  • Family history

    If one of your family members have narcolepsy, your chances are 20 to 40 times higher of developing the condition.

  • Obesity

    People who are overweight are more at risk for developing narcolepsy.

When to See a Doctor

You should see your doctor immediately if you experience daytime sleepiness that disrupts your every activities and prevents you from living your normal life.