Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine.
Contrary to what some people believe, narcolepsy isn't related to depression, seizure disorders, fainting, simple lack of sleep or other conditions that may cause abnormal sleep patterns.
Narcolepsy is a chronic condition for which there's no cure. However, medications and lifestyle changes can help you manage the symptoms. Support from others — family, friends, employer, teachers — can help you cope with narcolepsy.
Oct. 24, 2012
- Ahmed I, et al. Clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of narcolepsy. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2010;31:371.
- Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm. Accessed Sept. 9, 2012.
- What is narcolepsy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/nar/. Accessed Sept. 9, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Sept. 1, 2012.
- Cao M. Advances in narcolepsy. Medicine Clinics of North America. 2010;94:541.
- Overeem S, et al. Narcolepsy. Sleep Medicine Clinics. 2012;7:263.
- Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 10, 2012.