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Narcolepsy Specialist

MM Jersey City Breathing Center

Internal Medicine & Pulmonology located in Jersey City, NJ

Narcolepsy affects 200,000 Americans every year and it’s estimated that only 25% are officially diagnosed. Narcolepsy can make it difficult for you to stay awake in certain situations and cause major disruptions in your daily routine. The specialists at MM Jersey City Breathing Center can identify and manage your narcolepsy with effective treatment options. To learn more, call one of the three locations in Jersey City, New Jersey, to book an appointment today.

Narcolepsy Q & A

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder in which you experience excessive sleepiness during the day and sometimes may fall asleep involuntarily during everyday activities.

Narcolepsy can be accompanied by a sudden loss of muscle tone called cataplexy, triggered by strong emotions. This is known as type 1 narcolepsy. If you have narcolepsy without cataplexy, you have type 2 narcolepsy.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

Symptoms of narcolepsy become worse over time and can include:

Excessive daytime sleepiness

You may feel sleepy throughout the day, even if you managed to get a restful sleep the night before. You may also notice decreased alertness and difficulty concentrating.

Sleep attacks

You may fall asleep without warning at any time, in any place.

Cataplexy

Strong emotions can trigger episodes of cataplexy, which is the sudden loss of muscle tone. Muscle tone helps keep your body upright and moving, and without it, you may experience symptoms that range from a full-body collapse to a slack jaw. 

Sleep paralysis

You may experience sleep paralysis, which is the inability to move or speak while falling asleep or just after waking. These episodes can last from a few seconds to minutes.

Hallucinations

Vivid and frightening hallucinations may further disturb your ability to fall asleep and sometimes, you may not be fully asleep when you start dreaming, which makes the dreams seem like reality.

Disrupted nighttime sleep

People with narcolepsy often have disturbed nighttime sleep and vivid nightmares as they fall asleep and wake up.

There is no known cure for narcolepsy yet, but with lifestyle changes and medication, you can control your symptoms and continue to live a normal life.

How do you treat narcolepsy?

The team at MM Jersey City Breathing Center performs a number of tests to rule out other conditions that may be the cause of your symptoms. They may require a sleep analysis to examine your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep.

Once the team confirms your narcolepsy diagnosis, they can suggest medication to help you stay awake during the day or to reduce symptoms like cataplexy or hallucinations so you can sleep better at night. 

These medications often have side effects, but your specialist can help determine the right combination of medication for you.

Your specialist may suggest lifestyle changes that include a sleep schedule to regularize your sleep pattern or short naps at strategic times to ensure that you remain refreshed and alert throughout the day. 

Regular exercise a few hours before your bedtime can help make you sleep better. The practice can also offer counseling and support to help you cope with your narcolepsy. 

To learn more about the various treatments that can help, call the office to make an appointment today.