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Narcolepsy is a nervous system problem that causes extreme sleepiness and attacks of daytime sleep. Experts aren’t sure of its cause.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden, severe attacks of deep sleep during daytime hours
  • Sudden loss of ability to control muscles in the body
  • Hallucinations or vivid dreams that occur just before falling asleep or just after waking up
  • Automatic behavior
  • Sleep paralysis


In order to diagnose narcolepsy, a Deborah Specialty Physicians sleep medicine specialist will do a blood test to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. Additional tests may be ordered, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Sleep study
  • Multiple sleep latency test
  • Genetic testing to look for the narcolepsy gene