Night-time sleep and daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy

J Sleep Res. 2000 Sep;9(3):309-16. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2869.2000.00217.x.


This report describes night-time sleep and daytime sleepiness in a large (N=530) sample of patients meeting the International Classification of Sleep Disorders criteria for diagnosis of narcolepsy. Sleep data were obtained from polysomnographic recordings on two consecutive nights. Sleepiness was assessed using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Analysis revealed that sleep was mild to moderately disturbed on both recording nights. A first-night effect was suggested by decreased REM latency and increased percentage REM and slow-wave sleep on the second night. Sleepiness and sleep disturbance varied across patient subgroups created based on patient ethnicity and on the presence/absence of cataplexy, sleep apnoea, and periodic limb movements. Covariation of sleep and sleepiness measures across patients was significant but weak. Strong association was found between subgroup means of sleep and sleep disturbance measures. The findings reported here show that sleepiness and sleep disturbance vary across patient subgroups and that sleep disturbance is related to, although unable to account, for the pathological sleepiness of narcolepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcolepsy / complications
  • Narcolepsy / diagnosis
  • Narcolepsy / physiopathology*
  • Polysomnography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep, REM / physiology