Do I have Narcolepsy?

Have you been asking yourself Do I have Narcolepsy? That’s how it started out for me. I wasn’t sure exactly what sleeping disorder I had, but I knew I had to find out.

MY STORY

I started noticing it in college. There I was, 20 years old, and tired every damn day. It confused both me and my family. I know my dad had a history of sleep apnea, but I didn’t show any of the outward signs; overweight, snoring, etc. Per my mom’s suggestion, I finally agreed to visit a sleep specialist to get checked out.

1.5 years and 5 sleep studies later I was finally diagnosed with Narcolepsy. Currently, there’s only one true process for diagnosis that’s on the market. That would be an MSLT, otherwise known as the Multiple Sleep Latency Test.

MSLT measures how quickly you fall asleep in a controlled environment over a day-long period. The test consists of 5 scheduled naps each separated by 2 hours. During each nap test, you are being monitored to determine how quickly you can fall into REM sleep. People without Narcolepsy, are unable to drop into REM during daytime naps.

Do I Have Narcolepsy

Do I have Narcolepsy

You find out or get properly diagnosed only by one way. That would be an MSLT as I mentioned before. In order to get one, you need to get it scheduled by a sleep specialist, take the test, then have your results read/confirmed by a medical professional.

Future Narcolepsy Test

 

There is a genetic marker test (blood test) that’s currently in development. I first heard about it during the Narcolepsy Conference. However, it’s still being developed and not available for commercial use yet.

Finding out do I have Narcolepsy

Recapping 

As of writing this (March 2018), there exists one way to find the answer to the question “Do I Have Narcolepsy?”. That would be a Multiple Sleep Latency Test. In order to get one, follow the steps below.

  1. Find a sleep specialist 

You can do this by going to google.com and typing in “sleep specialist near me”. You may have a limited choice of specialists due to your healthcare provider. It’s best to check with your insurance company to ensure it’s covered by your plan.

2. Schedule the MSLT

Once you have found a sleep specialist, get an MSLT test scheduled by that provider.

3. Take Test

Very obvious step here haha. Take the multiple sleep latency test.

4. Confirm Diagnosis

Once the test is over, your sleep specialist will interpret the test results and inform you if you do in fact have narcolepsy.