Sleep Disorders Center of Santa Maria

Call Us:  +1.8056149250


  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), an overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue throughout the day
  • Poor quality of sleep because the sleep wake patterns are disrupted
  • Micro-naps (falling asleep for a few seconds) and sleep attacks (an overwhelming urge to sleep)
  • Abnormal REM (dream sleep), detectable only by sleep lab tests
  • REM intrusion into daytime wakefulness
  • Cataplexy, events during which a person has no reflex or voluntary muscle control. For example knees buckle and even give way when experiencing a strong emotion “ laughter, joy, surprise, anger “A or head drops or jaw goes slack from the same kind of stimuli
  • Hypnogogic hallucinations, events of vivid audio and visual events that a person with narcolepsy experiences while falling asleep, or while awakening
  • Sleep paralysis, a limpness in the body associated with REM sleep resulting in temporary paralysis when the individual is falling asleep, or awakening

Narcolepsy is a neurologic sleep disorder that makes you feel sleepy most of the time. People with narcolepsy sometimes fall asleep all of sudden, even when they don’t expect to. They can even fall asleep while they are in the middle of activities, such as eating, talking, or driving.

Approximately 1 in  2,000 people in the United States have narcolepsy.  Many people with narcolepsy are unaware of the condition and are undiagnosed. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder which causes irregular patterns in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and significant disruptions of the normal sleep/wake cycle. The cause of narcolepsy is not completely understood, our current understanding is that narcolepsy is caused by damage to a small group of neurons in the brain.  The damaged neurons normally make a neurotransmitter (hypocretin/orexin) which is important in alertness.   New research points to a combination of genetic and environmental factors that influence the immune system and damage these neurons.