What is Narcolepsy?

World Narcolepsy Day: Symptoms and treatment

22 September marks World Narcolepsy Day - one of the most prevalent chronic sleeping disorders. 

Woman slumbering
Woman slumbering /iStock

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that affects three-million people worldwide. 

It is often unrecognised and misunderstood. 

According to Sleep Foundation, it affects both adults and children, and makes the brain unable to properly regulate wakefulness and sleep.


- Excessive daytime sleepiness even after adequate nighttime sleep where those suffering from narcolepsy feel an urge to sleep which he/she can't resist. This can cause the person to experience sleep attacks. Due to sleep attacks, people who suffer from narcolepsy are three to four times more likely to be involved in a car accident

Sleep Foundation states that one of the symptoms of narcolepsy is automatic behaviours that occur while a person is unaware. 

- Sleep paralysis.

- Hallucinations.

- Cataplexy which occurs during the day triggered by strong emotions. 

- Sudden loss of muscle control (Cataplexy). 

- Facial Tic.

- Fragmented sleep at night.

READ: The best pillows for a good night's sleep

Treatment or cure

Sadly, there is no cure for narcolepsy. Doctors can try different treatments to make the condition manageable. 

As soon as you realise the symptoms or suspect that you suffer from the condition, it is important to consult your doctor who will suggest proper treatment based on your symptoms and history. 

READ: Six foods to help you sleep better

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