Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder associated with extreme drowsiness throughout the waking hours. Everyone with narcolepsy has excessive daytime sleepiness, but not everyone with excessive daytime sleepiness has narcolepsy. An individual affected with narcolepsy is likely to fall asleep at unexpected times, like during a social event, while sitting sedentary, or even while driving a vehicle. Narcolepsy may also cause hallucinations, impaired sleep at night, and sleep paralysis.
There are two types of narcolepsy, with type I being associated with a condition called cataplexy. Cataplexy is the sudden and brief loss of voluntary muscle control triggered by strong emotions. In severe cases, individuals may fall or sink to the ground while still aware of their surroundings. These "attacks" typically only last a few seconds. In mild cases, individuals may only notice a change in muscle tone of the face or even just around an eye. Type narcolepsy II is not associated with cataplexy. If you think you might have narcolepsy type I, you can use the Swiss Narcolepsy Scale tool and share the results with your provider.
We recommend visiting www.xywav.com to learn more about living with narcolepsy and the oral suspension treatment available. This web site is a tremendous resource for those with narcolepsy and excessive sleepiness.
If you think that you or a member of your household may be suffering from narcolepsy, contact us to schedule an evaluation with a Sleep Specialist or ask your provider about a referral to Red River Sleep Center.