Health Tip: Guiding Your Child’s Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a lifelong disorder in which a person experiences abnormal sleep patterns where they fall asleep suddenly and most often at unusual times. The causes of Narcolepsy are not yet fully known nor well understood. Although people are not born with Narcolepsy, generally, symptoms become apparent before early adulthood with children as young as three years old having been diagnosed.

What are the signs of Narcolepsy in children?

A child with narcolepsy may suddenly fall asleep or lose control of muscle function while eating, playing, or simply walking down the street. Narcolepsy is a condition of excessive sleepiness that may considerably impact all aspects of a child’s life including social and academic functioning.
Children with narcolepsy may experience the following:

  • Constant excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Ongoing struggles to stay awake
  • Falling asleep at unusual times and locations that may be unexpectedly sudden in the form of sleep attacks

How should you help control your child’s Narcolepsy?
According to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, here are some suggestions for dealing with