Skip to main content
Avg ER Wait
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached
Cartersville Medical Center

Diagnosis of Narcolepsy

If you have classic symptoms of narcolepsy , such as involuntary sleep attacks and weakness attacks, diagnosis of your disorder may be simple. If your doctor isn’t sure whether your symptoms are caused by narcolepsy, other tests may be ordered, such as:

  • Polysomnogram tests —For this test, you’ll have to spend the night in a sleep center. Tiny electrodes will be attached to various areas of your body in order to closely monitor your heart rate, eye movements, brain waves, and muscle activity throughout the night. Monitors will also record information about your breathing, changes in the concentration of oxygen in your blood, and your body position.
  • Multiple sleep latency test—This test is usually done the day after the polysomnogram. With the same set of electrodes still attached, you’ll be asked to take a series of 20-minute naps, every 2 hours throughout the day. The electrodes collect information about how quickly you fall asleep and how quickly you reach various levels of sleep, particularly rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Questionnaires will also be used.

Revision Information

  • Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated March 6, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: Updated December 28, 2011. Accessed June 3, 2013.

  • What is narcolepsy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: Updated November 1, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Cartersville Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.