Narcolepsy: treatment, cause, symptoms best way to deal


Narcolepsy: treatment, cause, symptoms

Narcolepsy is rare condition of the Brain that cause person sudden sleep at any place and any time.
its a long term condition of brain. it disrupts wake-up and sleep process.

Through out the day you feel drowsy, very difficult to focus, concentrate and be alert.
Brain is unable to process sleep in a proper pattern, which can lead into serious conditions like:-

  •  Suddenly falling asleep without any warning.
  •  Weakness, loss of muscles control, collapsing is very common, less emotions ( Laughter and anger )
  •  Sleep paralysis: Unable to move and speak while falling sleep and waking up.
  •  Waking in sleep or uncontrolled dreams. hallucinations and dream can be caused during when you fall asleep or during sleepwalk.
  •  Movement of Leg muscle uncontrollably many times during night.
  •  Narcolepsy doesn’t have any long term physical health problems, but it can have serious impact on daily life.

What cause narcolepsy ?

Absence of Chemical name hypocretin also known as orexin, it is believed that immune system accidentally attacks the cells that produce hypocretin.
But still it is unclear in many narcolepsy cause of it.

According  ICSD-3  ( International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition ) there are 2 type of Narcolepsy NT1 and NT2

NT1 (Narcolepsy type 1)

It is related with symptom of Cataplexy that is sudden loss of Muscle Control.
Not all Patients are diagnosed with NT1. NT1 can be caused by lower level of Hypocretin.

NT2 (Narcolepsy Type 2)
NT2 is known as Narcolepsy without Cataplexy, the symptoms are almost same with NT1 but they do not have lower level of Hypocretin.

 What can cause narcolepsy ?

  • Psychological stress
  • Hormonal changes during puberty
  • Infection such as swine flu or may be the vaccination used against it

Narcolepsy is not very common, according to population based study conducted in Olmstead county narcolepsy has affected 20 to 67 people per 100000 in united states.
Many patients are not diagnosed within years of first symptom sighted due to which many other study in reached up to 180 per 100000.

It happens equally to Men, women, adults and kids. It can happen at any age, but some study shows its on peak at age of 15 and 35.

Diagnosing Narcolepsy

Now your already aware that Narcolepsy is not very common, so diagnosing Narcolepsy requires specialized and familiar doctor’s which are already aware of the Disease.

The Process starts with review of sleep pattern, medical history and symptoms. It helps doctors to understand patients the sleep habit and nature of EDS. In Many cases specially children’s family members, parents or the guardians are required to help identify the patients symptoms.

one of the test is called Epworth sleepiness scale is based on subject sense of their symptom. another test is called Polysomnography its details test that monitors brain and body activity by sensor. This test is done overnight in specialized clinic.

There is one more test that extracts cerebrospinal fluid and check the level hypocretin this done by procedure called Lumbar puncture.


Actually There is no cure or treatment for narcolepsy NT1 and NT2. The only thing that can be done is improvising safety of patient, reducing symptoms and changing life style.

The disease is always different for every person affected, in some cases narcolepsy is stable over years. In many other cases narcolepsy improves as patient ages.

Behavioral Treatment

Behavioral Treatment are medical form of therapy which try making changes to daily life suffering patient.

Brief Nap

Brief naps are always refreshing for people who are suffering. plan your naps accordingly on daily basis.

Night Sleep

Make sure to have proper night sleep of minimum 8 to 9 hours uninterrupted or distracted. avoid using mobile during bedtime.

Stay Away from Alcohol

Consuming alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or drug may worsen the situation.

Small Meals

Try to have smaller meals more instead of having Heavy meals.

Avoid Driving

Always avoid driving, but if you have to drive somewhere, Make sure you take a proper brief Nap.


People suffering Narcolepsy are prone to obesity, workout at least 3 thrice a week.


Behavioral treatment are always helpful in improving the disease. medicine prescribed are always for improvising symptoms.
The Medicine should be always taken by specialized doctors prescription.

Some of the Most common prescribed medicine are

  • Pitolisant it tries to keep you awake during day time
  • Methylphenidate Help reducing EDS ( Excessive Daytime Sleepiness )
  • Sodium oxybate Helps reducing Cataplexy
  • solriamfetol Postive effects on EDS
  • Armodafinil is typically for first treatment of EDS

Treatment for Adults and Children are same, but precaution should be taken while choosing the medication and dosage.

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