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Narcolepsy

SomnoSleep Consultants

Sleep Medicine in Northern Virginia

Up to 200,000 people in the United States have excessive daytime sleepiness because of narcolepsy. At SomnoSleep Consultants, we offer in-office sleep studies and other diagnostic testing to confirm your sleepiness relates to narcolepsy. We design a plan to reduce your risk for accidents because of daytime drowsiness and help you achieve a higher quality of nighttime sleep. Learn how to manage narcolepsy more effectively by calling the SomnoSleep office or book a consultation online today.

Narcolepsy - FAQs

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder causing persistent daytime sleepiness because your brain can’t properly regulate your sleep and wakefulness processes.

Normal sleep cycles involve a series of sleep stages, including the final rapid eye movement (REM) stage. REM stage starts much earlier in people with narcolepsy because of changes in your brain that interfere with sleep-wake processes.

Excessive daytime sleepiness interferes with your concentration and your performance at school, work, and in social situations. Narcolepsy can also increase your risk for accidents that cause personal injuries.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

Daytime sleepiness is the primary symptom of narcolepsy. You can also experience other bothersome or even alarming symptoms, including:

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis describes the feeling of not being able to move your body when you’re falling asleep or waking up.

Hallucinations

Hallucinations involve vivid visual imagery that occurs while your falling asleep or waking up. These hallucinations often accompany sleep paralysis. Seeing these images while being unable to move can be extremely frightening to some people.

Cataplexy

Cataplexy describes a sudden loss of muscle control occurring in some people with narcolepsy. You might lose control over the muscles on either or both sides of your body for several seconds to a few minutes.

Some people experience cataplexy only a few times a year, while others might have more than a dozen episodes a day.

To better understand your symptoms and determine if they relate to narcolepsy, you may need to participate in sleep studies that monitor your behaviors and brain activity during sleep.

How is narcolepsy treated?

The SomnoSleep providers personalize a treatment plan for narcolepsy based on your specific symptoms and needs.

Typically, a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications improve your quality of sleep. You can also expect to make lifestyle and diet modifications to support better sleep. 

The providers at SomnoSleep can offer guidance to improve your sleep routine, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, creating a distraction-free sleep space, and unplugging from electronics at least one hour before bed.

To learn more about options for managing narcolepsy, call the SomnoSleep Consultants office or book a consultation online today.