What is narcolepsy?

Lack of SleepWe’ve all seen the sitcoms with a character with narcolepsy – the character just can’t seem to stay awake, and the condition is played for laughs. However, if you or a loved one has narcolepsy, you know it is anything but funny. Narcolepsy can affect your entire life – during the day and throughout the night – and it can affect your health as well. Here is some more information on this serious disorder.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which sleep-wake cycles can’t be controlled. Patients might feel overwhelmingly sleepy in the middle of the day, so much so that they can fall asleep anywhere at any time. And at night, people with narcolepsy wake frequently and sleep poorly.

Cataplexy is also a symptom of narcolepsy. Cataplexy is sudden weakness of the muscles, which can affect just part of the body or the whole body. It comes about when the patient has a strong emotion, such as anger or surprise. Other symptoms include sleep paralysis and very vivid hallucinations.

What causes narcolepsy?

Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes narcolepsy, but genetics are believed to play a part. People with narcolepsy also tend to have low levels of hypocretin, a chemical that helps to regulate sleep and wakefulness, in the brain.

How is narcolepsy treated?

There is no cure for narcolepsy. However, the symptoms can be managed with medication and some lifestyle changes. To diagnose narcolepsy, your doctor will perform a comprehensive sleep evaluation and a physical examination, and you may be asked to take part in an overnight sleep study.

Narcolepsy can cause other problems besides sleepiness. Patients with narcolepsy can be seriously hurt (or hurt others) if they fall asleep at the wrong time, such as when driving. Falling asleep at work or school because of the disorder can cause others to see someone with narcolepsy as lazy.

Narcolepsy can affect every aspect of your life, and it is important to find a sleep disorder specialist if you think you may have this disorder. The staff at Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT can help. Call 203-245-0412 for a consultation today.

Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Request an Appointment


We regret to announce that we will be closing the practice for in person and telehealth services for Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment as of 9/30/2023. The Practice was formerly owned by Dr. Malhotra and was located at 86 Bradley Road, Madison, CT 06443.

In February 2022, Waterstone acquired Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment under Dr. Thomas Abbenante, who has been working with patients in Greenwich and New Haven offices.

If you are seeking new services, please contact your health insurance company who can provide you with a list of providers that are in network with your current plan. For additional information or referrals, you can also contact the Connecticut State Medical Society at www.nhcma.org or by calling 203-865-0587.

For current or previous patients, please contact our agency for information regarding your account, appointments, or medical records. You may reach us at 203-245-0412 or fax requests to 203-427-0441. You will receive mailed information detailing closure and any follow-up instructions.

Please note that the business mailing address for Dr. Abbenante and Sleep and Neuroscience is:

Dr. Thomas Abbenante
Sleep & Neuroscience Department
c/o Waterstone Counseling Centers, LLC
86 Bradley Road
Madison, CT  06443