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I Think I May Have Narcolepsy

by Merwin Nancy
(Chennai, Tamilnadu, India)

I being a student also have excessive sleepiness during day time. I thought it is due to the classes I am attending the whole day. But then when I suffered from sleep paralysis I came to know that I have all the symptoms of narcolepsy. What should I do for this? I am disturbed.

Dear Merwin,

If you think you may have narcolepsy, you should try to get yourself in to see a sleep physician if at all possible in your area. He or she will be able to run some tests to give you a confident diagnosis (most notably the Multiple Sleep Latency Test using the Polysomnogram. You can learn more about how those work here). Additionally, if you are correct and you do have narcolepsy, the sleep physician will hopefully be able to equip you with the resources necessary to best combat it.

Some questions to think about in the meantime before you seek a professional diagnosis are:

  • Is there any prior precedence of narcolepsy in your family? The factors predisposing someone to narcolepsy are inherited from one's parents.

  • Are you experiencing cataplexy, and if so, to what degree is your cataplexy affecting you. Cataplexy is the trademark symptom of narcolepsy, and essestially involves bits of REM sleep protruding into wakefulness during high-emotion situations, such as while laughing at a joke. Learn more about cataplexy and the other narcolepsy symptoms here.

  • Bottom line is if you think you have narcolepsy try your best to get yourself to a sleep specialist so that if you do indeed have it you can be well-equipped to deal with it, and if you don't have it you can put your mind at ease and possibly find out what else is causing you to experience your symptoms.

    Good luck my friend!

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