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, sudden attacks of sleep 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: ruggby, Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I submitted to sleep study after decades of sleep disorder symptoms and difficulty staying awake on the road and in many environments. Then suddenly last spring, I started falling asleep without warning at stop lights and woke up driving past a semi one afternoon. Diagnosis was idiopathic insomnolence, and trying to find medication that works without pounding headaches and intense buzz. I am changing from modafinil to Nuvigil right now. Hoping to find the magic bullet. I don"t know why my condition suddenly became so extreme... stress of job was high; also nearly 60 years old now.

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Comment from: 2sleep or not 2sleep, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I was diagnosed with narcolepsy at around age 40. I am now 47. I was on Ritalin and didn't like the side effects. I tried Provigil and had allergic reaction. Now on Provigil 150 mg 1 time per day. I feel like it is not helping as much and have appointment to talk to my doctor (a new doctor). I am hoping to have a better answer than try this or increase that. I am tired of being tired and tired of taking medicines. I know it is a lifelong disease, but there has to be something besides drugs to help with the daytime drowsiness. I have less of the vivid dreams, however I have full on conversations when I sleep. I catch myself doing this when I am on the van pool; embarrassing. I have declined a lot of things that would be fun because of my narcolepsy. I would not be happy about no more driving. Some days I am feeling great. Other days like today, it is just plain scary.

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