Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Conditions InDepth: Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. People who have it may fall asleep at any point during the day. This happens quickly and without control. Sleep attacks last 3 to 30 minutes long. They also carry a risk of danger. They can happen at any time such as while driving or standing on a ladder. Narcolepsy can make it harder on your work and social life.

The exact cause is unknown. There may be a combination of problems with:

  • Certain genes in the brain
  • The immune system—it attacks healthy cells
  • Your environment
REFERENCES:

Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116132/Narcolepsy. Updated November 14, 2017. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Narcolepsy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/narcolepsy. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Narcolepsy-Fact-Sheet. Updated July 6, 2018. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD  Last Updated: 8/24/2018