Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is the most important and usually the first symptom. It presents as frequent drowsiness and inability to stay awake during the day, even after getting enough sleep at night. The condition is troublesome and occasionally results in embarrassing situations.
Cataplexy is a loss of muscle control triggered by strenuous exercise or intense emotions such as laughter, anger and joy. It is less common than EDS, and can cause a range of physical changes from slurred speech to total physical collapse, lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Sleep paralysis refers to episodes when the patient is unable to talk or move for brief periods upon falling asleep or waking up.
Hypnagogic hallucinations are very vivid, scary dreams and sounds, which the patient experiences when semi-awake and beginning to dream. The patient experiences these dreams as reality, and these may be particularly vivid and frightening.
Automatic behaviour occurs when familiar routines or boring tasks are performed with no recollection or memory of them later.
Sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations can occur in people without narcolepsy.
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