Narcolepsy - Genesis Health System

Narcolepsy

Definition

Excessive drowsiness during the day with a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Can be associated with cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone), sleep paralysis (inability to move while going or awakening from sleep), and hypnagogic hallucinations (vivid dreamlike experiences that occur when drowsy)

Symptoms

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations
  • Cataplexy

How to Get Diagnosed

If you suspect you have narcolepsy you should talk with your physician about getting diagnosed. If you do not have a physician you can be seen in our sleep clinic or call 563-421-1525 for more information.

Evaluation

  • Your physician will start by getting a complete medical history.
  • The physician will want to speak with your bed partner or other members of your household about your sleeping and daytime behavior.
  • To diagnose narcolepsy and determine the severity your physician may refer you for a sleep study. You may also be referred for an MSLT if your doctor needs to assess.

Treatment

  • Although narcolepsy cannot yet be cured, it's symptoms can usually be controlled or improved.
  • Medication: Prescription medication are available and can treat the excessive sleepiness, cataplexy, hallucinations and sleep disturbances.
  • Behavior Treatment:
    • Follow a regular sleep/wake schedule
    • Take short naps once or twice a day
    • Be cautious during activities that can be dangerous
    • Follow the instructions regarding medications and inform your physician of any changes or problems.

Contact Us 

For more information about our sleep services, please contact:

563-421-1525
Email

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