A person with narcolepsy is likely to fall asleep at inappropriate, and sometimes dangerous, times and places.

The most common symptoms of narcolepsy are feeling drowsy every 3 to 4 hours during the day and having strong urges to sleep, then experiencing sleep attacks (actually falling asleep). Some people with narcolepsy have dream-like hallucinations and experience sleep paralysis upon first wakening. Others experience a sudden loss of muscle tone while awake resulting in the inability to move (cataplexy). This cataplexy is brought on by strong emotions, such as laughter or anger. Some people with narcolepsy have all four symptoms.

Potential forensic implications:

  • motor vehicle accidents
  • industrial accidents