“I’m a big believer in no broken dreams” – Katie

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Tips for Living with Narcolepsy

People living with narcolepsy share their experiences.

Listening to stories about challenges and successes from other people living with narcolepsy may make a difference. A group of people living with narcolepsy share what has helped them make the most out of visits to their healthcare providers and how they have built their support networks.

Tips for Daily Living With Narcolepsy

Ijeoma, Matt, Sean, and Leah

Hear tips for daily living with narcolepsy from people who have the disorder. From building a daily routine to practicing mindfulness, people living with narcolepsy share how they have learned to manage their symptoms day to day.

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One bad day is not a bad lifetime. Having a bad day doesn’t make you less of a human. You’re still powerful. And you’re not alone.

Sharon, 43 years old, living with narcolepsy with cataplexy

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Stories about living with narcolepsy
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Stories about living with narcolepsy
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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 dream-like experiences that occur while 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 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.