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Narcolepsy. Yovany Gaspar Psychology Period 5. Narcolepsy. A sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks. The brain’s inability to control sleep wake cycles. Known to be a nervous system Disorder. Associated Features.

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Yovany Gaspar


Period 5


  • A sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks.

  • The brain’s inability to control sleep wake cycles.

    • Known to be a nervous system Disorder.

Associated features
Associated Features

  • Those diagnosed do not get regular sleep.

    • NREM and REM sleep are significant stages of sleep that are needed to function.

  • Individuals experience sleep attacks through out the day.

    • Sometimes leads to episodes of full paralysis or hallucinations.

    • Also known as EDS (Excessive daytime sleepiness).

Associated features1
Associated Features

  • Some cases include cataplexy

    • A sudden loss of muscle reflexes or control due to strong emotions.

    • Occurs in 70 percent of patients.

    • 10 to 25 percent of individuals diagnosed present all four cases.

How is it diagnosed
How is it Diagnosed?

  • Patients are asked to keep a sleep journal over a span of two weeks.

  • Two tests must be administered.

    • Polysomnogram (PSG)

      • Overnight test that records sleeping patterns.

      • Looks for abnormality in REM sleep.

    • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MLST)

      • Measures an individuals tendency to fall asleep.

      • Latency period is about 12 minutes if it lasts shorter than 8 than its possible that it is narcolepsy.


  • Due to reduced amounts of protein known as hypocretin (when cataplexy is present).

    • Produced in the brain and help stimulate biological processes.

  • Possibility that it is an autoimmune disorder.

    • Highly rare to be a genetic effect.


  • Common in men the same as in women

  • Narcolepsy with cataplexy affects one in every 3,000 Americans.

  • 10 % of those diagnosed have relatives with similar symptoms.


  • There is no known cure.

  • There must be changes in one daily life in order to control the symptoms.

    • Avoiding Heavy meals, resorting to lighter vegetarian choices.

    • Planned naps, this reduces sleep attacks.

    • Give awareness of your disorder to those within your environment.

    • Emotional counseling.


  • The use of stimulants is often referred to by psychiatrists.

    • Armodafinil, dextroamphetamine, and methylphendate.

  • Also may use antidepressants which stimulate serotonin levels.


  • Lifelong chronic condition.

  • Although it is not deadly it can be dangerous to the individual and those around the individual.

  • Treatment of underlying sleep symptoms is recommended in order to control the disorder.


  • Halgin, R.D. and Whitbourne, S.F. (2005). Abnormal psychology: clinical perspectives on psychological disorders. New York, NY: Mcgraw-Hill.

  • Meyers, D.G. (2011). Meyer’s psychology for ap. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

  • PubMed Health. (Sept. 26, 2011). Narcolepsy, daytime sleep disorder; cataplexy. Retrieved from 1805/.

Discussion question
Discussion Question

  • Should individuals diagnosed with Narcolepsy be allowed to coexist with society or are they a danger to not only society but themselves as well? Why or why not? Explain.