Narcolepsy, also known as hypersomnolence, is a sleep disorder where people fall asleep involuntarily (without trying). This can be quite alarming and can make it difficult to get through your day.
Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, it is important that patients seek diagnosis and treatment for their safety, productivity and quality of life.
Narcolepsy (Hypersomnolence): Why Choose Memorial Healthcare System?
At Memorial Healthcare System, patients seeking diagnosis and treatment for narcolepsy will find:
- Experienced physicians: Our care team includes highly skilled, board-certified physicians who have decades of experience and specialize in diagnosing and treating narcolepsy.
- Certified Sleep Medicine Center: Our Sleep Medicine Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The designation demonstrates our proven commitment to high-quality care of patients with sleep disorders.
- Diagnostic tools: We use polysomnography (sleep studies), multiple sleep latency testing (MSLT) and evidence-based questionnaires to accurately identify and assess your sleep disorder.
- Comprehensive treatment of symptoms: We partner with specialty pharmacies to provide novel medications that promote wakefulness. We complement drug treatment with patient education about good sleep habits, which we call “sleep hygiene.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Narcolepsy causes people to fall asleep in the middle of their day. It can affect people in various ways:
- Excessive sleepiness: People just can’t stay awake or suddenly fall sleep.
- Hallucinations or episodes of sleep paralysis: People are conscious but unable to move.
- Cataplexy: People may experience moments when they lose muscle control. People with narcolepsy often experience trouble concentrating at work or school. They also report being embarrassed about the potential impact on their social lives. Furthermore, sudden attacks of sleep and cataplexy can be dangerous, such as when a person is driving.
Only about 25 percent of patients with narcolepsy receive a diagnosis. But two painless sleep studies can be the first steps toward getting the treatment you need.
Learn more about the sleep studies we perform at our certified Sleep Medicine Center.
Polysomnography, also known as a sleep study, is a noninvasive, overnight test used to diagnose certain sleep disorders, including narcolepsy. This is a painless overnight test we use to diagnose the cause and severity of certain sleep disorders.
Sleep technicians at our Sleep Medicine Center attach sensors to your body. While you sleep, they measure brain waves, heart rate and oxygen levels among other things.
Daytime Nap Study
MLST, also known as a daytime nap study, is a series of five naps in one full day. During MLST, you nap in a controlled, quiet environment. Our technicians measure how long it takes you to fall asleep, as well as electrical activity in your heart and brain. They also review your breathing, oxygen levels, and movements in your eyes and extremities.
There is no cure for narcolepsy, but there are some new drug treatments that promote wakefulness. We partner with specialty pharmacies and insurance companies to ensure access for appropriate patients.
We also provide patient education to help you understand:
- Good habits that promote “sleep hygiene”
- What triggers your symptoms and what alleviates them
- How to explain your condition to others
It matters to you. It matters to us.
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