Narcolepsy is an irresistible need to sleep no matter how much sleep you get. It can manifest in sleep attacks while talking, driving, or working, which last anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

The onset of narcolepsy usually occurs between 15 and 30 years of age and is caused by the disturbance of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep into a waking state.

The four key symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cataplexy (episodes of muscle weakness during emotional periods of laughter, anger, or surprise)
  • Sleep paralysis (an inability to move when first waking up or falling asleep)
  • Hypnagogoic hallucinations (dreamlike images that occur at the point of drifting off to sleep)