Narcolepsy

Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep

Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in St. Petersburg, FL

As many as 200,000 Americans live with narcolepsy. If you have trouble staying awake during the day or fall asleep without warning, Himanshu Chandarana, MD, and Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, can confirm a narcolepsy diagnosis on-site at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep. The team provides at-home and in-lab sleep studies to evaluate your sleep habits and brain activity. They also customize treatment plans to help you manage your narcolepsy symptoms over the long term. To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for narcolepsy, call the office in St. Petersburg, Florida, today or book an appointment online.

Narcolepsy Q&A

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects your brain’s ability to control your cycles of sleep and wakefulness.

In a normal sleep cycle, you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle, the period where your brain muscles go limp and you start dreaming, within 90 minutes of falling asleep. When you have narcolepsy, you enter the REM cycle too quickly, usually within 15 minutes of falling asleep.

While you initially feel rested when waking up, narcolepsy can make you feel excessive daytime sleepiness. You may also fall asleep, even in the middle of activities like walking, eating, or talking. Some people experience sudden muscle weakness (cataplexy) that makes it difficult to move or they have vivid hallucinations or total paralysis before falling asleep.

Many people develop narcolepsy in childhood and the condition continues into adulthood. However, you can develop narcolepsy at any time. While the underlying cause of narcolepsy isn’t clear, you may be at increased risk if you have a family history of the condition, have an autoimmune disorder, or have a traumatic brain injury.

How is narcolepsy diagnosed?

During your diagnostic evaluation for narcolepsy, the Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep team performs a physical exam and review your personal and family medical history.

You may also need sleep testing to monitor your movements and vital signs while you sleep. The team offers both at-home sleep studies and in-lab sleep studies to assess your REM sleep cycle and identify underlying sleep disorders like narcolepsy and sleep apnea.

Based on the results of your sleep testing, the team customizes a treatment plan to control your narcolepsy symptoms.

How is narcolepsy treated?

While there’s no cure for narcolepsy, the team at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep can help you manage your symptoms over the long term.

To treat daytime sleepiness and prevent cataplexy, you may need to take medications that stimulate your central nervous system. In some cases, antidepressants can also prevent symptoms like cataplexy.

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to better manage narcolepsy. These changes may include:

  • Taking short naps
  • Exercising daily
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Learning relaxation techniques

If you smoke, you should quit. Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep offers a comprehensive smoking cessation program to reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms, so you can quit smoking for good.

If you need help managing narcolepsy, call Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online. a