Narcolepsy
Los Angeles

Stop Daytime Drowsiness, Treat Narcolepsy

Do you have trouble staying awake during the day? Do you find yourself falling asleep at odd moments, like during conversations or other activities? Does the sleepiness persist even after a full night’s sleep? If so, you’re probably suffering from a neurological disorder called narcolepsy.

At Tower Sleep Medicine, our sleep specialists identify the signs and symptoms of narcolepsy, run advanced diagnostic tests, and curate the ideal treatment plan according to your unique needs and sleep concerns. If you are suffering from narcolepsy, Los Angeles clients have been getting real help from Tower Sleep Medicine.

About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a rare neurological disorder that affects approximately 1 in 2,000 people. It’s marked by an overwhelming need to sleep in the middle of the day, even after a full night’s sleep. Individuals with narcolepsy may suddenly and unexpectedly fall asleep, even during activities like talking, eating, or driving. Even though the symptoms of narcolepsy may start manifesting after the age of 10, it is often misdiagnosed or left undiagnosed for several years.

Diagnosis of Narcolepsy

During your initial consultation, our sleep specialists recommend a series of tests and examinations to determine if you’re suffering from narcolepsy, allowing them to curate the ideal treatment plan. The diagnosis of narcolepsy usually involves the following — in-lab sleep study, multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), and hypocretin level measurement.

Hypocretin Level Measurement
In the rarest of circumstances, the doctor may recommend a hypocretin level measurement test to identify the level of the hypocretin chemical in your spine. The test involves a spinal tap, drawing and testing a sample of your cerebrospinal fluid.

In-Lab Sleep Study
During the in-lab sleep study, we monitor your sleep-wake patterns and vitals at our overnight sleep diagnostic centers. Our sleep technologist connects you to an electronic device that measures your heart rate, oxygen level, sleep quality, limb movements, etc. The overnight test helps us look for possible anomalies in your sleep cycle and diagnose other underlying or connected sleep disorders, like restless leg syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
We administer the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) in our diagnostic center to measure your sleep-wake patterns throughout the day. We measure how often you fall asleep during the day and whether you achieve REM sleep at unusual hours. The test usually tracks your vitals over four to five short naps.

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Causes

Narcolepsy may be caused by various factors that come together to create imbalances in your brain. While there’s no consensus on a precise root cause of narcolepsy, some experts believe it occurs when your brain can’t produce a chemical called hypocretin.

Long-Term Complications

  • Mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Weight gain due to lower activity levels.
  • Increased risk of suicidal behavior.

Risk Factors

  • Family history of narcolepsy.
  • Individuals between 15 to 25 years of age.

Signs & Symptoms of Narcolepsy

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).
  • Inability to concentrate on work.
  • Memory lapses.
  • Constant exhaustion.
  • Cataplexy, i.e., muscle weakness with symptoms ranging from heavy eyelids to a complete body collapse.
  • Intense hallucinations.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations, i.e., hallucinations when you’re waking up.
  • Sleep paralysis, i.e., the inability to move while falling asleep.

Treatments for Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition. While there’s no cure for narcolepsy, Los Angeles clients have been managing the condition such that it doesn’t significantly interfere with or impact their lives. Our sleep specialists interpret the diagnostic test results to curate the ideal treatment plan according to your unique needs and lifestyle.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Eat smaller meals rather than a large meal.
  • Maintain a tight sleep schedule.
  • Schedule short (10 to 15 minutes) daytime naps.
  • Exercise regularly.

Medications

Depending on your unique problems, we may recommend medications to treat sleepiness, treat problems with REM sleep, manage cataplexy, and help you stay awake during the day.

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Narcolepsy FAQs:

Can I have both narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea?

Yes, narcolepsy is often accompanied by other sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea.

Can I drive if I have narcolepsy?

Driving with narcolepsy can be extremely dangerous. You must consult your doctor to discuss your options.

Can my excessive daytime sleepiness be caused by disorders other than narcolepsy?

Yes, excessive daytime sleepiness may be caused by various sleep disorders, including restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. That’s why it’s crucial to go through advanced diagnostics to identify the actual cause of your symptoms.

I can’t have narcolepsy if I suffer from sleeplessness at night, right?

Individuals with narcolepsy often have a hard time sleeping at night and find themselves waking up at odd hours.

If you are suffering from Narcolepsy, contact us to find out more about this condition and how to treat it today.

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310-657-4337

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