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Doctor insights on: Is Narcolepsy A Type Of Insomnia

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Dr. Michelle Zetoony
274 doctors shared insights

Narcolepsy (Definition)

Narcolepsy is a condition characterized by extreme sleepiness every few hours during the day and frequent, unexpected sleep attacks. This sleep disorder is believed to be caused by a decrease in a protein in the brain. There is no cure for narcolepsy, but its ...Read more


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How are narcolepsy and insomnia different?

Both Sleep Issues: Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and can be due to many causes: the use of stimulants, the inability to quiet oneself down prior to sleep, the use of electronic devices prior to bed, irregular sleep routines, etc. Classic narcolepsy is due to the loss of brain cells which produce the chemical orexin. Leads to fragmented sleep, excessive rem activity, other symptoms, including insomnia. ...Read more

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Since I don't have narcolepsy and I my friends don't have it either, I don't understand their struggle. If that means NEVER insomnia, I would LIKE it!

Since I don't have narcolepsy and I my friends don't have it either, I don't understand their struggle. If that means NEVER insomnia, I would LIKE it!

Can have insomnia &: People with narcolepsy often have insomnia with trouble sleeping at nite while being excessively sleepy during the day with trouble focusing, poor memory and depression. They can suddenly uncontrollably fall asleep during the day, esp. when experiencing strong emotions.Trust me, you would not like having narcolepsy! See http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/nar/signs.html for more. ...Read more

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Can l-tyrosine improve alertness? I took it at night and had severe insomnia, but wasn't sure if it was that or lingering from my narcolepsy meds.

Can l-tyrosine improve alertness? I took it at night and had severe insomnia, but wasn't sure if it was that or lingering from my narcolepsy meds.

Yes: It is likely your insomnia is due to l-tyrosine, as explained in my other answer to you. In the future it would be best to not take in the evening (unless you need to stay awake!). ...Read more

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I have successfully treated narcolepsy (take provigil, xyrem). About a year ago, i suddenly developed severe chronic insomnia. What could cause this?

I have successfully treated narcolepsy (take provigil, xyrem). About a year ago, i suddenly developed severe chronic insomnia. What could cause this?

Insomnia: Check the time and amount of Provigil that you take identify other stressors try Ambien (zolpidem) short term or increase xyrem also cbti has good results. ...Read more

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Two siblings on meds for narcolepsy. I have insomnia (wake up after 3-4 hrs for no psych reason). Connection? 2 sleep studies inconclusive /contrad.

Possibly: There could be a connection but it depends. Narcolepsy does have a higher penetrance in families. However, do your siblings truly have narcolepsy with cataplexy. Hard to give you more information without looking at your records. Best would be to go to a board certified fellowship trained sleep physician. ...Read more

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Dx narcolepsy w/o cat 2yrs last 6 months experiencing difficulty falling asleep can I have insomnia too? Sometimes takes hrs to fall asleep rx:ritalin

Yes: You can have insomnia and narcolepsy. Ritalin (methylphenidate) can cause difficulty with sleep. Please let your physician know. In the meantime, use excellent sleep hygiene. Retire ; rise same time each day. Keep bedroom dark ; cool ; use only for sex ; sleep. Turn off tv. No naps. Exercise regularly but not in late evening. No caffeine for 6 hrs ; no alcohol or tobacco w/i 2 hrs of sleep. Keep dinner moderate. ...Read more

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I have cfs, reynauds, fibro, narcolepsy w/insomnia. I now learn that they all may be autoimmune. What tests and what viruses can I expect? Inherited/gen

Only Raynaud's: Only raynaud's could be secondary to an autoimmune disorder. Cps, fibromyalgia and narcolepsy are not autoimmune. I seriously doubt your cfs diagnosis if you indeed have narcolepsy with insomnia. ...Read more

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What types of employment would a person that suffers from narcolepsy and cataplexy apply for?

What types of employment would a person that suffers from narcolepsy and cataplexy apply for?

Almost Anything : A patient with narcolepsy can do anything they want. There are a few reasonable restrictions: operating heavy maschines, professional driving, operating an airplane, surveillance jobs... ...Read more

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I have diagnosed narcolepsy, but I cannot afford the proper meds... uninsured... is there any OTC things I can take or any type of activities thatll keep me awake? I have cataphlexy too

I have diagnosed narcolepsy, but I cannot afford the proper meds... uninsured... is there any OTC things I can take or any type of activities thatll keep me awake? I have cataphlexy too

Not the best idea: While I'm sympathetic to your problem, I'm reluctant to make suggestions. Your treating physician should be the person who gives you this advice. Medication assistance programs ARE available from manufacturers to eligible applicants. The office of a doc committed to pt care will have or can obtain that information. A web search by you should also turn up resources. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,638 doctors shared insights

Insomnia (Definition)

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you cannot fall or stay asleep. It usually accompanies another sleep, medical, or psychiatric disorder, and can lead to memory impairment, mood changes, and increased risk of ...Read more