Narcolepsy in Cedar City, UT
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What Is Narcolepsy?
Our sleep medicine specialists in the Serenity Sleep Center may diagnose your narcolepsy if you have the symptoms of an uncontrollable desire to sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, or the sudden loss of muscle control known as cataplexy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes sudden sleep attacks, and in some cases, hallucinations that happen upon waking, sleep paralysis, insomnia, and changes in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
Type 1 narcolepsy involves cataplexy and low levels of hypocretin (also called orexin), which regulates when you stay awake and when you enter REM sleep. Scientists suspect the low levels of hypocretin may be an autoimmune reaction. The majority of people with narcolepsy have type 2 and do not have cataplexy. There currently is no cure for narcolepsy, which can go undiagnosed for many years, but the sleep medicine team at serenity sleep center can recommend medications and lifestyle changes to help you manage the symptoms.
Treatments to Manage Narcolepsy
Based on your symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness, a sleep specialist will determine the type of narcolepsy you have based on sleep records and several tests about how you sleep. Canyon View Ear, Nose & Throat's sleep experts will review your sleep history and records before ordering a sleep study, known as polysomnography, which measures brain waves and records other activities while you sleep, such as blood oxygen levels, breathing and heart rates, and leg and eye movements. A multiple sleep latency test may also be prescribed to measure how long it takes you to fall asleep during the day. Other tests that could be conducted include genetic tests, which involve a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. All of these tests are necessary to help eliminate other possible causes of excessive daytime sleepiness, such as sleep apnea or medications causing drowsiness.
There isn't a cure for narcolepsy, but our sleep specialists can recommend medications and lifestyle changes to manage the symptoms of this sleep disorder. Medicines include stimulants, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, sodium oxybate (Xyrem), and oxybate salts (Xywav).
We may also recommend these home remedies to help improve your sleep health:
- Follow a sleep schedule. Our sleep experts may encourage you to stick to a sleep schedule and follow it every day of the week, including weekends. Stick to a schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including on weekends.
- Take short naps daily. Naps of 20 minutes during the day may refresh your body and reduce sleepiness for up to three hours.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol. These substances, especially at night, often worsen symptoms.
- Get regular exercise. Moderate, regular exercise at least 4 – 5 hours before bedtime may help you sleep better at night, and you may feel more energized and awake during the day.
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Best ENT there is!! Dr. Pearson and his staff are very personable. You never feel like just another number. They actively listen and spend time educating and answering questions. I am very confident in his skills and pleased with my results.
The best clinic I have experienced in Cedar City. Professional staff. Very kind and easy to talk to. And they listened to every word. Dr Pearson answered all of my questions in easy terms that I easily understood. Never felt rushed. Highly recommend this clinic.
I've always been treated with respect in and out promptly, and staff always friendly, and The Doc has a great bedside manner and knows his stuff!!!!
Dr Pearson is a very gentle, kind and extremely knowledgeable Dr. I will be recommending him to all my friends and family.
Dr. Pearson has been GREAT with my children. He always makes them feel comfortable after seeing him I always feel that my children are in the best care possible.
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Improve Your Sleep Health
Sleep is a vital part of our health. Serenity Sleep Center at Canyon View Ear, Nose & Throat is an accredited sleep facility with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Pearson has been treating patients with sleep disorders for 19 years. If you suspect you might have narcolepsy or another sleep disorder, contact our Cedar City, UT office to schedule a consultation today.
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What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is believed to be due to abnormal neurotransmitter functioning and sensitivity, abnormal immune modulation, and genetic predisposition. Narcolepsy is typically characterized by sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, cataplexy, and EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness). Children with narcolepsy rarely experience all four symptoms.
Why is a sleep study needed to diagnose narcolepsy?
A sleep study is a necessary part of the evaluation to determine if a patient has narcolepsy. Combining an overnight polysomnogram and multiple sleep latency tests can help determine if you are struggling with narcolepsy or another sleep disorder like sleep apnea.
Can narcolepsy affect my ability to learn new information?
Yes. Although narcolepsy does not affect a patient’s intelligence, the symptoms can hinder one’s ability to learn. Memory, concentration, attention span, and the ability to study can be impaired by sleepiness. It is essential to identify narcolepsy in children as quickly as possible to prevent low self-esteem and a pattern of failure.