Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects the central nervous system.

Narcolepsy causes excessive and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even after getting plenty of nighttime sleep.

If you have narcolepsy, you are likely to become drowsy or to fall asleep at inappropriate times and places. These sleep attacks may happen with or without warning.

You may have repeated attacks in a single day. The drowsiness may last a long time. Nighttime sleep may be split up, and you may wake up often.


Symptoms may differ in each person. The most common symptoms include:

  • Daytime sleepiness, or an overwhelming desire to sleep at inappropriate times.
  • Cataplexy, or a sudden loss of muscle control ranging from slight weakness to total collapse. This most often occurs during times of strong emotion.
  • Sleep paralysis, or being unable to talk or move for about one minute when falling asleep or waking up.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations, vivid and often scary dreams and sounds reported when falling asleep.
  • Disrupted sleep.
  • Automatic behavior, or doing routine tasks without conscious awareness of doing so, and often without memory of it.
  • Waking up often.

Get Started

To diagnose narcolepsy or determine the best course of treatment, a sleep specialist may recommend a nighttime sleep study or other testing.

To see a sleep specialist, contact your physician and ask for a referral to OSF Sleep.

Once we have received the referral, we will contact you to schedule an appointment.