People with narcolepsy have involuntary excessive daytime sleepiness while engaged in daily activities and when it is not expected. They have sleep attacks even when they have gotten enough sleep the previous night.
About 60-80% of people with narcolepsy also experience cataplexy when they suddenly lose muscle tone and may just feel weak or actually collapse in response to a strong emotion such as laughter, fear or anger.
Other symptoms may include hallucinations or vivid or scary dreams upon falling asleep or sleep paralysis, an inability to move when falling asleep or waking up.
About 125-200,000 or 1/2000 persons have been diagnosed with narcolepsy in this country, the first signs usually appearing in the teen or early adult years. However, often narcolepsy is not diagnosed for up to 15 years after onset of symptoms.
Narcolepsy is a serious chronic neurological and disabling disorder that can significantly impair one's life and could possibly lead to injury.