Self-Evaluation for Narcolepsy

Sleepiness can occur for a variety of reasons, but persistent sleepiness that occurs even after a good night’s sleep is usually the first clue that someone may have narcolepsy. Self-assessment tools on this website can help identify problematic sleepiness and symptoms of narcolepsy... More »

Narcolepsy Natural Remedies

Currently there are no narcolepsy cures that can treat completely this disease. Some drugs may reduce the risk of drowsiness and untimely nap: amphetamines and other stimulants may be prescribed, as well as antidepressants. More »

Understanding Cataplexy

Cataplexy represents an episode in which body loses its muscle tone, mainly because of emotions. The original name comes from greek, plexis traduced as paralysis and kata as down. Statistically speaking, this illness is a rare one and it is usually associated with narcolepsy. More »

Hypersomnia Symptoms

The first hypersomnia symptoms reported by persons suffering from this disease are the tendency to sleep during the day, although the night sleep was long enough. Sometimes the sleep can even occur unwittingly. Episodes of sleep during the day do not occur in the form of “attacks”... More »

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is characterized by pain in the legs, pain which becomes more severe while resting and lose its intensity when the person moves his feet. Symptoms are worse in the evening or at night so that people with restless legs syndrome generally suffer from insomnia. More »

Link Between Narcolepsy and Mental Health

Just about every illness, mental and physical, is related to emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, and trauma such as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Narcolepsy symptoms are often mistaken for depression, in fact narcolepsy is correlated with depression, especially in adolescents. More »

 

Self-Evaluation for Narcolepsy

Self-Evaluation for Narcolepsy

Source: Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Sleepiness can occur for a variety of reasons, but persistent sleepiness that occurs even after a good night’s sleep is usually the first clue that someone may have narcolepsy. Self-assessment tools on this website can help identify problematic sleepiness and symptoms of narcolepsy.

While sleepiness can occur for a variety of reasons, persistent sleepiness is usually the first clue that someone may have narcolepsy. To help identify problematic sleepiness, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Once you have caught up on your sleep during weekends or vacation, are you still likely to fall asleep when inactive?”
  • “Do you feel rested in the morning but then tired throughout much of the day?”
  • “Do you doze off at inappropriate times?”

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should discuss your sleepiness with your primary care physician or sleep specialist.

Dream-like hallucinations just prior to sleep, and sleep paralysis at times when you are awake, are suggestive of narcolepsy. However, these symptoms are not considered very specific for the disorder, as they can occur in people who simply need more sleep. In contrast, true cataplexy is very distinct and occurs almost exclusively in narcolepsy.

Helpful tools

About 1 in 2,000 people have narcolepsy, but it may go unrecognized for years by individuals and their doctors. Sleepiness is often overlooked or just brushed off as a part of life. In addition, most primary care physicians and pediatricians are unfamiliar with how to recognize and treat narcolepsy. One helpful self-assessment tool for recognizing sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS).  An ESS score higher than 10 indicates troublesome sleepiness, and many people with narcolepsy have scores higher than 15.

The Ullanlinna Narcolepsy Scale (named after the clinic in Finland where it was developed) is also a well-validated questionnaire for diagnosing narcolepsy with cataplexy. Print out the Ullanlinna Narcolepsy Scale (PDF) to assess your symptoms.

If you suspect you have narcolepsy, discuss your concerns with a medical professional familiar with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.

 

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zedzap/5454974317