How common is narcolepsy?

The rate of narcolepsy varies by region, even among developed nations. For instance, in the United States and Europe, about 1 in 2,000 people has narcolepsy. The rate is much lower in Israel, only 1 in 500,000, but much higher in Japan, 1 in 600. The cause of this variation is unknown.

The frequency of narcolepsy in North American is uncertain. However, researchers found that the condition isn't that uncommon in the United States. For every one million people, about 550 will have narcolepsy, and about 14 will be diagnosed with narcolepsy in a given year. Along with sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and insomnia, narcolepsy is one of the more commonly diagnosed sleep disorders in people seeking treatment in sleep clinics.
About one in 2,000 people have some form of narcolepsy. However, many people with narcolepsy do not know they have the sleep disorder. Narcolepsy may run in some families, but most cases are not genetic. The disorder is extremely rare in children.

Continue Learning about Narcolepsy

What tests are used to diagnose narcolepsy?
It's not unusual for people suffering from narcolepsy to visit a variety of healthcare professionals...
More Answers
What is cataplexy?
Cataplexy is characterized by sudden episodes of loss of muscle function. These can range from sligh...
More Answers
What kind of doctor should I see for my narcolepsy?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
If you suspect you have narcolepsy, you may want to make an appointment with your family physici...
More Answers
Can diet cause narcolepsy?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
People with narcolepsy often tell me they feel overly sleepy after meals. What and how much you'...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.