8 doctors weighed in:

Is narcolepsy a type of insomnia?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vikas Jain
Internal Medicine - Sleep Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

Narcolepsy is generally classified as hypersomnia of central origin.

In brief: No

Narcolepsy is generally classified as hypersomnia of central origin.
Dr. Vikas Jain
Dr. Vikas Jain
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1 comment
Dr. Donald Jacobson
Yes, but one of its symptoms is significant insomnia and sleep fragmentation, hence your question. Best wishes to you.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

People with narcolepsy do have disrupted sleep, but it is not the same as insomnia.
With insomnia, people have a hard time transitioning from wake to sleep, resulting in tossing and turning, frustration, etc. However, once asleep they usually sleep well. With narcolepsy, the transition to sleep occurs quickly and at inappropriate times (during the day, with activities). Other symptoms also occur.

In brief: No

People with narcolepsy do have disrupted sleep, but it is not the same as insomnia.
With insomnia, people have a hard time transitioning from wake to sleep, resulting in tossing and turning, frustration, etc. However, once asleep they usually sleep well. With narcolepsy, the transition to sleep occurs quickly and at inappropriate times (during the day, with activities). Other symptoms also occur.
Dr. Mark Patterson
Dr. Mark Patterson
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Dr. David Brodner
Internal Medicine - Sleep Medicine

In brief: No, it is different

Insomnia is: 1) difficulty falling asleep; 2) difficulty staying asleep; 3) a combination of both.
Narcolepsy is a physical disorder associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain that creates: 1) excessive sleepiness; 2) loss of muscle tone when emotional (aka cataplexy); 3) sleep paralysis and/or hallucinations. Treatment can be medicine.

In brief: No, it is different

Insomnia is: 1) difficulty falling asleep; 2) difficulty staying asleep; 3) a combination of both.
Narcolepsy is a physical disorder associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain that creates: 1) excessive sleepiness; 2) loss of muscle tone when emotional (aka cataplexy); 3) sleep paralysis and/or hallucinations. Treatment can be medicine.
Dr. David Brodner
Dr. David Brodner
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