“I’ve changed my life in ways that I don’t even know that I’ve changed my life.” – Nicki
What Are the Symptoms of Narcolepsy?
There’s more to narcolepsy than falling asleep.
Narcolepsy is a rare disorder with 5 main symptoms. Although all people living with narcolepsy have excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), not everyone with the disorder will have all of the symptoms. People with cataplexy have type 1 narcolepsy; narcolepsy without cataplexy is often called type 2 narcolepsy.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
EDS is the inability to stay awake and alert during the day.
Cataplexy is the sudden and brief loss of muscle strength or tone, usually triggered by strong emotions such as laughter or surprise.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid, dream-like experiences that occur when falling asleep; hypnopompic hallucinations are similar but occur while waking up.
Sleep paralysis is the inability to move, speak, or open one’s eyes when falling asleep or waking up.
Disrupted Nighttime Sleep
Disrupted nighttime sleep causes people to wake up at night.
In addition to these symptoms, most people with narcolepsy report vivid dreams during naps.
Narcolepsy is so much more than just being tired. It affects every aspect of your life.
Scott, 48 years old, living with narcolepsy with cataplexy
Can Narcolepsy Be Cured?
While there is currently no cure, narcolepsy can be managed, and being well-informed about all of the symptoms can help. Talking to a healthcare professional about all possible signs of narcolepsy is important. A friend or family member may recognize symptoms that may go unnoticed, so bringing one of them to appointments can be helpful.