Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting the part of the brain that regulates sleep. Those suffering from narcolepsy can experience excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden loss of muscle control, often triggered by strong emotions. As a result, a person may fall asleep while working, cooking, or even driving. Learn what you can do to reduce symptoms, improve alertness, and enjoy a full and active life.
Narcolepsy can have repercussions on almost every aspect of your life, including:
Physical well-being and safety: Many ordinary daily activities, such as driving, working, cooking, or walking, can become very dangerous if you fall asleep or lose muscle control unexpectedly.
Mental health: Narcolepsy can disrupt your life to the extent that it may lead to depression and anxiety.
Social and professional relationships: Unfortunately, sudden sleep episodes are often found humorous to those not familiar with narcolepsy. Some people may assume that you are lazy, rude, or even faking the sudden sleep episodes.
Intimate relationships: Your personal relationships, especially spousal relationships, can often suffer as a result of narcolepsy. Extreme sleepiness may also cause low sex drive and impotence.
Memory and attention: Narcolepsy may cause you to have problems remembering things and concentrating, creating more disruption to your daily activities.