Table of Contents
What are the 5 signs of narcolepsy?
- Excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy fall asleep without warning, anywhere, anytime.
- Sudden loss of muscle tone.
- Sleep paralysis.
- Changes in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
What is the main cause of narcolepsy?
Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep. The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin.
How do I know if I have narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.
Is narcolepsy fatal?
Narcolepsy isn’t a deadly disease by itself, but episodes can lead to accidents, injuries, or life threatening situations. Also, people with narcolepsy can have difficulty maintaining jobs, doing well in school, and have problems maintaining relationships due to the attacks of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Is narcolepsy a mental illness?
However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.
How do you test for narcolepsy?
One helpful self-assessment tool for recognizing sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). You can measure your daytime sleepiness using a printed version of the ESS (PDF) or the online version of this screening tool.
Can narcolepsy be cured?
There’s no specific cure for narcolepsy, but you can manage the symptoms and minimise their impact on your daily life. Making some simple changes to your sleeping habits can sometimes help. If your symptoms are more severe, you’ll usually need to take medicine.
Why do I dream immediately after falling asleep?
People who have narcolepsy often fall into REM sleep quickly and wake up directly from it. As a result, they may have vivid dreams while falling asleep and waking up. Hypocretin (hi-po-KREET-in), a chemical in the brain, helps promote wakefulness. Most people who have narcolepsy have low levels of this chemical.
Why do I fall asleep when I sit down to watch TV?
Falling asleep with the TV disrupts the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy and wanting to rest. Your body starts producing it when evening falls since that is the natural sign that indicates that the time for sleeping is coming.
How many hours of sleep do narcolepsy need?
These 24-hour sleep recordings of two individuals—one with a normal sleep pattern (top) and one with untreated narcolepsy—clearly demonstrate the disrupted nature of sleep and wakefulness in narcolepsy….Sleep basics.
|People with narcolepsy||People without narcolepsy|
|Spontaneously wake from sleep||Generally sleep well|
Can you have narcolepsy and be bipolar?
Clinicians have reported cases of narcolepsy with prominent hypnagogic hallucinations that were mistakenly diagnosed as schizophrenia. In some bipolar disorder patients with narcolepsy, the HH resulted in their receiving a more severe diagnosis (ie, bipolar disorder with psychotic features or schizoaffective disorder).
What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?
When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy. Making lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms.