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Narcolepsy

Falling asleep suddenly without warning

HCA UK's experts can help to diagnose and treat a range of sleep disorders, including narcolepsy.. Find out more.

About

At HCA UK, our team of experts specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of sleep disorders including narcolepsy (a rare long-term brain disorder that results in a person falling asleep suddenly without warning during the day).

Need to know

  • Symptoms of narcolepsy icon plus

    Narcolepsy occurs when the brain is unable to properly regulate sleeping and waking patterns. Although it does not cause long-term health problems, it can result in significant impacts on your daily life.

    The exact cause of narcolepsy is often unclear, but it is thought to be the result of a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin, also known as orexin, which regulates wakefulness.The most common symptoms are:

    • Extreme tiredness (fatigue) during the day
    • Suddenly falling asleep without warning (a sleep attack)
    • A temporary loss of muscle control as a result of laughter or anger (cataplexy)
    • The inability to move during sleep (sleep paralysis)
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will discuss your narcolepsy symptoms with you. Tests they may recommend include:

    • Filling out an Epworth sleepiness scale questionnaire to determine how likely you are to fall asleep during different activities
    • Attending a specialist sleep clinic to assess the problems that you are having
    • Respiratory sleep study (to monitor your breathing, blood oxygen levels and heart rate)
    • Polysomnography (a sleep study that records your brain waves, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing and eye and leg movements)
    • Electroencephalogram (EEG) to monitor brainwaves
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment options for your sleep disorder depend on the nature of your condition. Your GP or consultant may consider recommending:

    • Counselling such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you better manage unhelpful thoughts and habits relating to sleep
    • Advice on how to practice good sleeping habits such as taking brief, frequent naps during the day and sticking to a strict bedtime routine.
    • Medicines to stimulate your central nervous system and help you stay awake during the day

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959
    Post COVID Recovery service 020 7483 5348

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181
    Post COVID Recovery service 020 7034 6602

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road

    Wilmslow

    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • 120 Old Broad Street

    120 Old Broad Street

    120 Old Broad Street

    London

    EC2N 1AR

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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