I came on here not because I think I have narcolepsy, but because my wife thinks I do, and she may be right. I am also autistic (Asperger's Syndrome), and have found that forums are a huge help. I haven't yet been tested, but I'm seeing my doc tomorrow to talk to him about what's been going on. I know narcolepsy (or "N", as it seems to be preferrably referred to here) tends to set in earlier in age than where I am now (I'm 35), but the signs are there.
As with my autism, the symptoms are mild, but present. I get tired frequently during the day, and feel as though I could just lay down and sleep. I've fallen asleep at work, right at my desk, and also have felt myself dozing while driving. Then sometimes I'll come home from work and just lay down in bed and fall asleep for a bit. This is usually a short nap, no more than a half hour, but recently I took a two-hour nap when I came home and crashed. Even after said nap, I still felt tired and went to bed at my normal time (around 11-11:30pm).
I never have trouble falling asleep. In fact, I tend to fall asleep right away, and many times I'll start dreaming before I'm even fully asleep. When I doze at work, it's like I start hearing voices (like in a crowd) as I'm falling asleep, then many times one of the voices would call my name and I'd wake up. Freaky! I don't ever have visual hallucinations, just the auditory hypnagogic ones. When I feel tired at work, sometimes I'll try having a cup of coffee to stay awake. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does just the opposite. I'll even try exercising in my office to get me feeling more awake, but even that doesn't last. Some days I'm not as tired, but I feel foggy and sluggish. I always thought I had SCT (Sluggish Cognitive Tempo), but now I'm wondering if it might be something else.
I get tired at times while socializing because, being autistic, it tends to make me feel drained. So I don't know if that's related or not, therefore it's confusing in those cases. Many times my wife and I will have people over at night, and at a certain point I'll want to just go and lay down. Again, I can't tell if that's just me being an "Aspie" or if it's some kind of hypersomnia.
I also thought I had reactive hypoglycemia, as I would feel tired and irritated or dizzy if I don't have something to eat every two to three hours. I was never actually tested for this, as my doc seemed to think it made sense, and simply told me to try to keep snacks with me at all times and try to snack on things that are rich in protein. Snacking can help me stay awake, but sometimes I just want to sleep after eating. I've frequently fallen asleep at my desk right after eating lunch. (I eat meals at my desk at work. Again, I'm not very social, and like to keep to myself. Nothing against people, it's just me.) But my point, in this case, is that I don't know if I actually have reactive hypoglycemia or if it's just coincidence and there something more going on.
I don't experience cataplexy, but I am quite clumsy, and I tend to drop things or knock things over frequently. Again, this could be part of me being autistic. As for sleep paralysis, I'm not sure. I do go through times when, as I'm waking up, I feel as though my brain is awake, but my body doesn't want to work just yet. It doesn't scare me, but it does feel odd. I've experienced this through most of my adult life. Maybe it's normal? It's like I'm a car that's running, and the driver hasn't gotten in yet to put me in gear. Would this be considered sleep paralysis? It only happens when I'm waking up, and not as I'm falling asleep.
I have a horrible memory. I forget things all the time. I forget things I had just done, or conversations I just had, or recently had. Many times I'll forget what I'm doing as I'm doing them! I'll be in the middle of something, and I'll suddenly stop and think "What was I doing just now? ...oh yeah!" and then I'll continue.
Now here's what I'm wondering. Does anyone here have symptoms, but also have good days? I don't always feel as though I could just fall asleep at any moment. Sometimes I have quite normal days, where I can just stay awake, and don't start to feel tired until after work. But even on those days, I can be clumsy, or feel slightly foggy at times, or be forgetful, or become irritable. My wife hates that I can hardly ever watch a movie with her without falling asleep. A lot of times, when we do watch a movie, I can't sit with her in bed. That's instant sleepiness right there. I'll need to sit in a chair, or on a stool, and even then I'll sometimes fall asleep. Many times I'll do some push-ups while we watch the movie, just so I can stay awake through it all. I hate it!
I'm sorry that this is so long, but I just keep adding things as I think of them. But I'll wrap it up now. My main point is, do any of you think that I may be slightly narcoleptic, or does it sound like maybe just some other form of hypersomnia?
Thanks for your time!