While people may experience narcolepsy differently, common symptoms of this condition include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, or an overwhelming desire to sleep at inappropriate times
- Cataplexy, or a sudden loss of muscle tone or control
- Sleep paralysis, or the inability to talk or move for a minute when falling asleep or waking up
- Hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations, or hallucinations that occur when falling asleep and waking up, respectively
Secondary symptoms of narcolepsy include: automatic behavior, or the performance of routine tasks without conscious awareness of doing so; disrupted nighttime sleep; feelings of fatigue and lack of energy; depression and difficulty with concentration or memory; vision problems; eating binges; weak limbs; and difficulties handling alcohol.
Symptoms of narcolepsy usually first appear between the ages of 15 and 30, but they can be present in childhood.