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There's More to Know About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy symptoms are not always obvious.

Narcolepsy is a chronic, neurologic disease that can present with symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy. All people living with narcolepsy have EDS, but they may not experience all narcolepsy symptoms.

Narcolepsy can disrupt everyday life, even if the impact isn’t always obvious. But narcolepsy can be managed.

Getting to know narcolepsy means recognizing even the less obvious symptoms and understanding what life is like for people living with the disease.

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Scott, a stay-at-home dad, shares why he believes narcolepsy changed the way his friends and family saw him and how the disease set the course for his life today.

What is the day-to-day impact of narcolepsy?

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What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

They may not be obvious »

Performance of routine tasks without awareness or memory.

Difficulty focusing or concentrating.

Brief loss of muscle tone with retained awareness, often triggered by strong emotions.

Frequent shifts between different states of sleep and wakefulness at night.

The inability to stay awake and alert during the day; a constant need for sleep or unintentionally falling asleep.

A chemical in the brain that helps maintain wakefulness.

Vivid, realistic, and frightening dream-like events that occur when falling asleep.

Dream-like events that occur when falling asleep. Called hypnopompic hallucinations if they occur when waking up.

A chemical in the brain that helps maintain wakefulness and prevent non-REM sleep and REM sleep from occurring at the wrong time.

Unintentionally falling asleep due to excessive daytime sleepiness; “sleep attacks.”

Restorative sleep state with decreased muscle tone.

Occurs at night and includes vivid dreams; muscles are not active to prevent people from acting out dreams.

Daytime and evening habits to improve sleep.

Brief total loss of voluntary muscle control when falling asleep or while waking up.

People with type 1 narcolepsy can be diagnosed by their cataplexy or low levels of hypocretin.

The cause of type 2 narcolepsy is unknown.