Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD, Neurologist and Division Chief and Medical Director of Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, discusses the signs and symptoms of narcolepsy.

As Dr. Kushisa explains, narcolepsy is a rare neurological disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day. There are two types of narcolepsy, narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) and narcolepsy type 2 (NT2). Both subtypes are characterized by intense daytime sleepiness leading to sleep attacks, though only patients with NT1 experience cataplexy. 

Hypnagogic hallucinations are common during sleep attacks as the person is falling asleep. These hallucinations can be visual, auditory, and/or somatic. These are often accompanied by sleep paralysis.

To learn more about narcolepsy and other rare neurological conditions, go to