Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Narcolepsy

Symptoms, causes, and treatment options are all discussed here. This is a great source to find out more information about this disorder.


Symptoms of narcolepsy are a result of a malfunction in the brain. This malfunction is triggered by a malfunctioning hypothalamus, which controls body temperature, appetite, and sleep-wake cycles. When this part of the brain malfunctions, it causes people to be overly tired, and have trouble performing normal daytime activities. It also causes people to gain weight and have a risk of cardiovascular disorders.

Some of the most common symptoms of narcolepsy include excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations. These symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they can be helped with lifestyle changes. In addition, medicine can be used to reduce daytime sleepiness and prevent cataplexy attacks.

Symptoms of narcolepsy may be caused by certain factors such as environmental toxins, viral infection, or brain injury. Some cases of narcolepsy are triggered by a lack of a wake-promoting chemical called hypocretin. The symptoms of narcolepsy may be mild or severe, depending on the condition. The most severe cases require medication to help the person’s nervous system function properly.

People with narcolepsy have problems with memory and attention. They are also prone to frequent sleep attacks. These episodes last from a few seconds to a few minutes. These attacks may happen during normal activities, such as talking to someone, driving, or performing an activity that requires full attention.

Symptoms of narcolepsy can affect a person’s relationships and work. People with narcolepsy are at increased risk of car accidents, cuts and burns, and cardiovascular disorders. They may also have trouble doing well in school. They also report problems with memory, mental cloudiness, and depression.

Many people with narcolepsy also have problems with sleeping through the night. They may fall asleep while watching television, talking with someone, or doing other activities. It is important to get an early diagnosis of narcolepsy to help manage the symptoms. A general medical check-up is also recommended to rule out other disorders, such as sleep apnea. A sleep study may also be performed to determine if a person has narcolepsy.

If a person is diagnosed with narcolepsy, he or she may be referred to a sleep center. Patients may also be required to keep a sleep diary for several weeks.


Among the causes of narcolepsy are brain injury, infections, tumors, and environmental toxins. These disorders affect the brain chemicals that regulate sleep-wake cycles. They also cause excessive daytime sleepiness. In addition, they can cause hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

The most common symptom of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness. The condition can interfere with daytime activities, social life, and professional life. It may also lead to accidents. To determine whether you have narcolepsy, a doctor will take a detailed medical history. In addition, he or she will perform a physical exam and ask you to rate your sleepiness on a scale.

Other symptoms of narcolepsy are hypnagogic hallucinations and cataplexy. Hypnagogic hallucinations occur during drowsy periods, while cataplexy is sudden, uncontrollable muscle weakness that may occur at any time during the day.

Narcolepsy is caused by a shortage of the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which is important for controlling sleep-wake cycles. Hypocretin is produced by the neurons in the brain and helps activate arousal. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which means that the body attacks the brain cells that make the neurotransmitter.

Hypocretin deficiency is not found in all cases of narcolepsy, and it may be caused by a brain injury, infection, or tumor. In addition, environmental toxins and heavy metals can affect the brain. In addition, narcolepsy may be caused by the effects of alcohol or nicotine.

The symptoms of narcolepsy can be frightening, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, they can be treated. Medication and behavioral lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms. In addition, a good support system is essential for a successful treatment plan.

There are different types of narcolepsy, including type 1 and type 2. Both types are caused by a lack of hypocretin, though type 1 is linked to a genetic predisposition. In type 1 narcolepsy, the HLA-DQB1*06:02 gene increases the risk of developing the condition by 20 times. This gene is associated with 12 to 25 percent of the general population.

Other symptoms of narcolepsy include sudden, unexplained muscle weakness and sleep paralysis. When a person suffers from sleep paralysis, he or she cannot move. If the narcoleptic does not get the necessary treatment, his or her risk of accidents will increase.


Symptoms of narcolepsy are a sign of a chronic neurological condition that affects the sleep-wake cycle of the brain. This condition causes excessive daytime sleepiness and can affect children, teens, and adults in many ways. It can interfere with psychological development, employment, and social activities.

It is important to get an early diagnosis. This will allow you to manage the condition and reduce its effects on your life. Your primary care physician (PCP) may be able to initiate the diagnosis process. He or she will ask about your sleeping habits, as well as your symptoms. In addition, you may be asked to keep a sleep diary.

Your doctor may refer you to a sleep clinic or neurologist, who will carry out an evaluation. During your visit, your doctor may also recommend blood work or imaging tests. These tests will help the doctor diagnose the condition.

Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat your symptoms. Medication will help you reduce daytime sleepiness and manage your cataplexy attacks. The medicines are usually taken as capsules or drinkable solutions. Some of these medications work by blocking the action of histamine, which makes people feel sleepy. Other medications work by improving the function of the hypocretin hormone in the brain.

Your doctor may recommend that you try to get more sleep at night, by taking frequent, short naps. It can be difficult to take naps at school or work, but taking naps can help you deal with your daytime sleepiness.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend medication to help you deal with your narcolepsy symptoms. These medications include methylphenidate, which is used to reduce daytime sleepiness, and modafinil, which can increase sleep at night.

You should make sure to follow a strict sleep schedule. Do not use electronic devices in bed, and try to avoid intentional sleep loss. You may also try to relax before bed to promote sleepiness.

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe medicines to help manage your cataplexy attacks. These medicines include sodium oxybate, antidepressants, and amphetamines.

Your doctor may also recommend that you take a polysomnogram. This test is done to measure the movements of your eye muscles and your breathing during sleep. These tests will help the doctor diagnose narcolepsy.

Treatment options

Symptoms of narcolepsy may be disabling, but treatments are available to help manage the condition. Treatments can include pharmacological and behavioral therapies and lifestyle changes. If you have narcolepsy, it’s important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. It’s also important to educate yourself about the disorder and how it affects you. Having a good support system can help you cope with the disorder.

Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Although the cause is unknown, it is suspected that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system is attacking the hypothalamus, which controls sleep. In addition, the brain may be damaged by an accident or illness.

There are four main categories of drugs used to treat narcolepsy. These categories include stimulants, benzodiazepines, and histamine 3 receptor antagonists. These medications are prescribed based on the symptoms you have and your sleep pattern. The symptoms of narcolepsy can include hypersomnolence (being unable to stay awake during major waking episodes) and cataplexy (a sudden, temporary loss of muscle tone).

Benzodiazepines may help delay nighttime arousal during sleep. Histamine 3 receptor antagonists may help treat sleep paralysis, which is a major symptom of narcolepsy. Stimulants are often used to help increase wakefulness and alertness. Currently, the main pharmacologic therapies for narcolepsy include sodium oxybate and Xyrem.

Treatment options for narcolepsy may also include cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on managing behaviors in patients with narcolepsy. Studies have shown that patients who receive treatment for their disorder report better sleep, a better quality of life, and fewer negative effects. However, the effects of treatment vary from person to person.

Antidepressants are also used to treat narcolepsy. Antidepressants work by blocking the release of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. Despite their effectiveness, antidepressants are not approved by the FDA for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Xyrem is a prescription drug that is used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness in people with narcolepsy. It is approved for use by adults and children 7 years of age and older. In addition, Xyrem is known to reduce cataplexy.

Other medications include sodium oxybate, pitolisant, and benzodiazepines. Stimulants are prescribed when first-line pharmacologic therapies are ineffective.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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