What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy has a variety of symptoms, mostly related to sleep attacks, which occur at any time of the day. We find :

  • Urgent need to fall asleep: Sleep attacks occur especially when the subject is bored or inactive, but they can also occur during exertion. The subject can fall asleep regardless of the location and position (standing, sitting, lying down).
  • Cataplexy: these are sudden releases of muscle tone that can affect various muscle groups. In some cases, this can lead to a fall. Some seizures can last a few minutes during which the affected person feels paralyzed and is unable to move.
  • Interrupted nights: the person wakes up several times during the night.
  • Sleep paralysis: the subject remains paralyzed for a few seconds before or after sleep.
  • Hallucinations (hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic phenomena): they appear during the seconds before or after sleep. They often accompany sleep paralysis, making it all the more terrifying for the sufferer.

People with narcolepsy do not necessarily have all of the symptoms described. The risk of a seizure is higher (sleep or catalepsy) when the person feels intense emotion.

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