• Symptoms of Narcolepsy

    Symptoms of narcolepsy usually start during the teen or young-adult years. Very few people are younger than age 5 or older than age 50 when symptoms first occur. If you have narcolepsy, symptoms occur even if you have gotten an appropriate amount of sleep. Some people notice that their symptoms grow worse as they age. Some women notice improvement of their symptoms after menopause.
    If you have narcolepsy, you may notice any or all of the following symptoms:
    • Overwhelming daytime sleepiness
    • Uncontrollable sleep attacks—These involuntary episodes tend to last between 3–30 minutes. They may occur periodically throughout every day, but may also be brought on by certain triggers, such as:
      • Warm environment
      • Heavy meals
      • Boring and/or sedentary occupations
      Cataplexy—A sudden and complete loss of muscle tone and strength. Cataplexy can occur at any time during the day and is often brought on by:
      • Intense emotion, such as anger or laughter
      • Stress
      • Being tickled
      • Orgasm
      • Eating a heavy meal
    • Sleep paralysis—A complete or partial inability to move or speak just as sleep or a sleep attack is beginning or ending
    • Hypnogogic hallucinations:
      • Hallucinations usually occur as sleep begins or ends, and while you are waking. They can be very disturbing.
      • They are usually visual images that you see vividly, though they don’t really exist.
      • They can also be tactile and auditory sensations.
      Automatic behaviour
      • Episodes similar to sleepwalking that may happen during involuntary sleep episodes
      • May include continuation of current activity or meaningless speech
    • Difficulty staying asleep at night
    • Memory problems
    • Blurry vision
    • Frequent nighttime waking


    Narcolepsy. American Sleep Association website. Available at: https://www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/narcolepsy. Updated September 2007. Accessed May 18, 2016.

    Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116132/Narcolepsy. Updated January 4, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2016.

    Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail%5Fnarcolepsy.htm. Updated April 6, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2016.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.