by EBSCO Medical Review Board

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 is hard on 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
  • The environment
What are the risk factors for narcolepsy?What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?How is narcolepsy diagnosed?What are the treatments for narcolepsy?Are there screening tests for narcolepsy?How can I reduce my risk of narcolepsy?What questions should I ask my doctor?Where can I get more information about narcolepsy?


Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 14, 2022.

Narcolepsy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: Accessed April 14, 2022.

Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Accessed April 14, 2022.

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