Narcolepsy - Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

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If you've been diagnosed with narcolepsy, please discuss your experience with daytime sleepiness.

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Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)

The main symptom of narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), causes the patient to tend to fall asleep easily. This can happen in relaxed situations and also at inappropriate times and places. Patients may fall asleep while watching TV, reading a book, driving, attending a meeting, or engaging in a conversation. The daytime sleepiness is present even after normal nighttime sleep. Patients may describe this symptom as being tired, fatigued, sleepy, feeling lazy, or having low energy.

Excessive daytime sleepiness is present throughout the day but the patient, with extreme effort, may be able to resist the sleepiness for some time. Finally, it becomes overwhelming and results in a sleep episode of varied duration (seconds to minutes). In addition to daytime sleepiness, repetitive, irresistible, and unintentional sleep attacks may occur throughout the day. Excessive daytime sleepiness usually impairs a patient's functioning because it reduces motivation and vigilance, interferes with concentration and memory, and increases irritability.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: JLP, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

I was correctly diagnosed with narcolepsy when I was 21; I'm now 64 and have been on Ritalin SR (generic) since the sustained release form first came out. I'm an RN, and have probably had narcolepsy all of my life because relatives always said that I was the "good child" between two very active siblings (my mom died when I was young so I never had any input from a parent on this). When I am highly stressed, I fall asleep. I managed to pass my state board RN exams only because an elderly test monitor kept waking me up. I've also fallen asleep while driving, working, standing, and even while teaching patients if I either sit still too long or I'm tired. Most of my life I've managed OK as long as I'm on meds and have adequate sleep. I've tried not to get stressed out; having a laid back personality and supportive family and friends has also helped.

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Comment from: Joseph 63, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 27

I am facing day time sleep, especially while reading in the bed. Second minute I will fall asleep. I am feeling great embarrassment and prefer to sleep separate, to avoid attention of other people. The moment I try to concentrate on some subject I start feeling sleepy and can go into deep sleep fast. It affected my studies a lot and with the help of will power I finished my studies.

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