Dr. Wolfe describes narcolepsy and recalls the associated symptoms and treatments for this sleep disorder.
Narcolepsy is an abnormal ability to stay awake during the day. People with narcolepsy have some degree of insomnia, but no matter how much they sleep, they are exhausted throughout the day. Sleep can be overwhelming to them during the day.
In addition, they may have hallucinations as they start to fall asleep or wake up. These are dreams that are starting even before the person falls asleep. They may wake up in the middle of the night paralyzed because the dream is still continuing even though they are awake.
During the daytime, they may have sleep attacks, or if they get emotional, laughing or crying, they may have intrusion of muscle weakness then as well.
Multiple medications can be used to treat narcolepsy. They either suppress dream sleep or improve alertness.
About Dr. Lisa Wolfe, M.D.:
Dr. Lisa Wolfe, M.D., earned her medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. She completed her residency and her fellowship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Wolfe is board certified in pulmonary disease, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.
Visit Dr. Wolfe at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation