Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where the sufferer can fall asleep quite unexpectedly. There will be no warning at all, and it can happen at completely inappropriate times. These episodes of sleep usually last just a few minutes. They will also have disturbed night time sleep patterns, waking frequently. Throughout the daytime they will be excessively sleepy.
Some sufferers, although not all, will also have cataplexy where they lose muscle tone for a period of time. This can vary in severity with some just experiencing a drooping of the eyelids, in others they can completely collapse due to all of the muscles being affected.
The difference with this and normal seizures, is the sufferer is fully conscious and aware. They also can have sleep paralysis although they are conscious, they experience a temporary inability to move or to speak whilst falling asleep or on waking. Hallucinations can accompany the sleep paralysis and these can be extremely frightening.
Narcolepsy sufferers find it difficult to concentrate on tasks throughout the day due to their excessive sleepiness, this can affect their lives at school, work or home. They can also find it difficult to deal with their condition, so it can impact emotionally on the sufferer too. This can lead to them feeling very low and depressed. Due to the condition those suffering from Narcolepsy are unable to drive.