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What are the signs of narcolepsy?

What are the signs of narcolepsy?

• Excessive daytime sleepiness is typically the first symptom of narcolepsy. It’s the overwhelming need to sleep when you prefer to be awake.

• Narcolepsy is typically associated with a sudden weakness or paralysis often initiated by laughter or other intense feelings, sleep paralysis, an often frightening situation--where you are half awake yet cannot move--and intensely vivid and scary dreams occurring at the onset or end of sleep.

• A narcoleptic may also experience “automatic behavior,” in which you perform routine or boring tasks but can’t remember doing so later.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, there is a chance that you have narcolepsy.

Have you had the sudden urge to sleep during the day even though you’re getting enough sleep at night?

Have you fallen asleep while working, eating or speaking with someone?

Have you felt alert after a brief nap but then the alertness quickly changes to sleepiness?

Since narcolepsy is not a common sleep problem, many primary care doctors have difficulty diagnosing the sleep disorder. A board-certified sleep medicine doctor can help make the proper diagnosis. Schedule an appointment with a sleep medicine doctor at an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Accredited Sleep Disorders Center.

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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.