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What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder in which patients experience sudden and overwhelming daytime sleepiness, even if they are well-rested. Those with the condition can find it hard to remain awake for long periods of time, regardless of what they are doing.

Sleep Disorders Tucson

Narcolepsy Overview

The origins of narcolepsy are poorly understood. However, researchers believe that the condition may arise more frequently in those with low levels of the brain alertness chemical, hypocretin, explaining sleepiness episodes. 

Currently, there is no cure for narcolepsy. However, there are medications and lifestyle modifications that can help. 

At Cochise Oncology we first talk about your sleep history and gauge your level of daytime drowsiness using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. We then collect sleep records and keep a detailed diary of your patterns for a couple of weeks to characterize the severity of the disorder. After a positive diagnosis, you may receive medications to reduce drowsiness and prevent attacks. 

Narcolepsy Symptoms

The symptoms of narcolepsy include: 

Daytime sleepiness

Patients with narcolepsy can fall asleep anywhere, at any time, often without prior warning. In some situations, such as when driving a car or preparing food, this can be dangerous. In the early stages of narcolepsy, you may experience excessive daytime sleepiness but not fall asleep. Over time, however, the condition can develop to the point where you fall unconscious suddenly. 

Paralysis during sleep

Some narcolepsy patients experience a temporary inability to move or speak while sleeping or waking up. These episodes are usually short-lived, but the feeling of being out of control of your body can be distressing.


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Loss of muscle tone

Narcolepsy patients can also experience sudden and unanticipated loss of muscle tone – a condition medical professionals call cataplexy. Strong emotions may trigger uncontrollable muscle relaxation, causing your neck to droop and knees to buckle. 


Narcolepsy patients may also experience hallucinations as they fall asleep or wake up. Many report the strong sensation that somebody is with them in the bedroom, even if they aren’t. Hallucinations are often frightening, 

Narcolepsy Consultation Benefits

Narcolepsy can impact your life in a big way. People may misinterpret your sudden sleeping episodes as laziness, and the condition may interfere with your relationships if you experience a sudden sleepiness attack after intense feelings of anger or joy. 

Having a consultation with a medical professional at Cochise Oncology can help put you at ease. We first diagnose the condition and then provide treatments plus information to help you manage it. 


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to learn more about cancer? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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