Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder defined by constant sleepiness and a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness.

People with narcolepsy suffer sleep attacks as well as continual sleepiness and a feeling of tiredness that is not relieved by any amount of sleep. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity at any time of the day.

What causes narcolepsy?

The exact cause for narcolepsy is not known but does appear to be a sleep disorder of the part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness. The medical community believes that specific genes are strongly associated with the sleep disorder. These genes control the production of chemicals in the brain that may signal sleep and awake cycles.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness – or commonly known as EDS interferes with normal activities on a daily basis. People with EDS report mental cloudiness, a lack of energy and concentration, memory lapses, a depressed mood, and/or extreme exhaustion.
  • Cataplexty – known as sudden, brief losses of muscle strength. A person having such an attack is fully awake and knows what is happening.
  • Sleep Paralysis – is also a brief loss of muscle strength but occurs when a person is falling asleep or waking up.
  • Hallucinations – vivid dreams that occur when a person is drowsy that may involve disturbing images or sounds.

When to see a professional?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, especially if they effect daily activities such as driving or work then you should seek immediate medical care.

A to Z Sleep specializes in all narcolepsy conditions. Contact us today at (386) 423-0505 extension 1234 or email us for complete information on sleep disorders or a sleep study at one of our four sleep lab locations in Central Florida.