What are Symptoms of Narcolepsy

The main symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) – overwhelming drowsiness and an uncontrollable need to sleep during the day
  • Cataplexy – the sudden loss of involuntary muscle tone that may be triggered by sudden emotional reactions such as laughter, anger, surprise, or fear. A study found that people with narcolepsy with cataplexy have low levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1.
  • Vivid hallucinations upon sleep onset or awakening
  • Short episodes of total paralysis at the beginning or end of sleep

Additional symptoms include restless nighttime sleep and automatic behavior. Automatic behavior is when someone continues to function (talking, putting things away, etc.) during episodes of sleep but has no memory of performing the actions upon awakening.


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