What is Narcolepsy : An Overview

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder with no known cause. Its onset can occur at any time throughout life, but its peek onset is during the teen years. The main characteristic of narcolepsy is excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after adequate nighttime sleep.

A person with narcolepsy is likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep, often at inappropriate times and places. Daytime sleep attacks may occur with or without warning and may be rresistible. They may also experience periods of catalepsy, temporary decrease or loss of muscle control, especially when getting excited. Hypnagogic hallucinations, vivid, often frightening, dream-like experiences, occur while falling asleep or waking up. Sleep paralysis, temporary inability to talk or move when falling asleep or waking up. It may last a few seconds to minutes. In addition, nighttime sleep may be fragmented with frequent awakenings. Daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations can also occur in people who do not have narcolepsy. If sufficiently troublesome can be reduced significantly in some people with Tricyclic antidepressants (eg. Imipramine), which suppress REM sleep.


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