Narcolepsy Specialist

The Sleep Lab

Jamil S. Sulieman, MD, FAASM

Sleep Medicine & Pulmonology located in Kaneohe, HI & Honolulu, HI

If you regularly experience daytime sleepiness or have trouble staying awake, it may be related to narcolepsy. At The Sleep Lab, sleep specialist Jamil Sulieman, MD, offers complete care for narcolepsy. Using a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and prescription medication, he can reduce your symptoms and help you feel better. To make an appointment, call the office in Kaneohe, Hawaii, or click the online booking feature today.

Narcolepsy Q&A

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy affects your brain’s ability to control sleep and wakefulness. Specifically, it's a disorder characterized by frequent “sleep attacks,” or falling asleep during routine activities like working or eating a meal.

If you regularly experience daytime sleepiness or find yourself falling asleep when you shouldn’t, don’t wait to make an appointment at The Sleep Lab.

What are the types of narcolepsy?

The Sleep Lab treats both types of narcolepsy:

Type 1 narcolepsy

People with type 1 narcolepsy experience daytime sleepiness and cataplexy –– a condition characterized by low levels of the brain chemical, hypocretin.

Type 2 narcolepsy

People with type 2 narcolepsy experience frequent daytime sleepiness, but have normal levels of hypocretin.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

Symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cataplexy (the sudden loss of strength caused by strong emotions)
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Hallucinations

If you have narcolepsy, you might also fall asleep when working, driving, or eating, but not remember it later on.

How is narcolepsy diagnosed?

To diagnose narcolepsy, your provider at The Sleep Lab recommends a polysomnogram (PSG) or a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).

PSG

A polysomnogram is an overnight sleep test that monitors your heart rate, oxygen level, breathing rate, eye and leg movements, and brain waves during sleep. The test reveals how quickly you fall asleep and how often you wake up.

MSLT

MSLT is similar to PSG, but it’s performed during the day instead of at night. During MSLT, you take a series of five naps, two hours apart. This test measures how quickly you fall asleep and enter rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep.

How is narcolepsy treated?

The Sleep Lab treats narcolepsy using a combination of prescription medication and healthy lifestyle changes. Once your provider confirms the diagnosis, they might recommend:

  • Wake-promoting medications
  • Sodium oxybate (a medication for daytime sleepiness)
  • Stimulants
  • Antidepressants
  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool

If you regularly take naps, your provider might also recommend making them shorter or avoiding them altogether.

To explore the various treatment options for narcolepsy, make an appointment at The Sleep Lab by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.