13 doctors weighed in:
Can you develop narcolepsy after age 40?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. R Sangal
Internal Medicine - Sleep Medicine
9 doctors agree
In brief: Yes, you can.
Yes, you can. Although narcolepsy most often begins early in life (teens and 20's), it can begin at any age including in young children and in midde-aged or older people.
It causes daytime sleepiness. However, with daytime sleepiness beginning in the 40s, other causes including insufficient sleep and sleep apnea must be considered.

In brief: Yes, you can.
Yes, you can. Although narcolepsy most often begins early in life (teens and 20's), it can begin at any age including in young children and in midde-aged or older people.
It causes daytime sleepiness. However, with daytime sleepiness beginning in the 40s, other causes including insufficient sleep and sleep apnea must be considered.
Dr. R Sangal
Dr. R Sangal
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1 comment
Dr. David Duhon
It can, but onset of excessive sleepiness in middle age is far more likely to be due to another sleep disorder. Sometimes narcoleptics don't realize that they are excesively sleepy until a change in occupation or lifestyle forces them to sit down and concentrate during the day.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Narcolepsy typically has its onset in 2 different age groups, teen and young adults.
However, like most illnesses it can occur at other times as well. The typical symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, vivid dreams, sleep paralysis, and cataplexy (drop attacks associated with strong emotions). As other conditions can mimic narcolepsy, see you doctor if you have concerns.

In brief: Yes
Narcolepsy typically has its onset in 2 different age groups, teen and young adults.
However, like most illnesses it can occur at other times as well. The typical symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, vivid dreams, sleep paralysis, and cataplexy (drop attacks associated with strong emotions). As other conditions can mimic narcolepsy, see you doctor if you have concerns.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Dr. Mark Patterson
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