Can I suffer from sleep apnea and narcolepsy?

This question was asked in Hempstead, New York on 12/10/2012.
Can I suffer from sleep apnea and narcolepsy at the same time. I use CPAP every night for 7-8 hrs and still fall asleep several times throughout the day.

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 12/11/2012

Yes, you can suffer from both sleep apnea and narcolepsy. In fact, 50% of patients with narcolepsy have sleep apnea. On the other hand, about 15% of patients with sleep apnea continue to suffer from daytime sleepiness after successful CPAP therapy. Presumably, the sleep-wake center has been damaged from the untreated apnea. Daytime stimulants are recommended for quality of life as well as your safety and the safety of others.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 12/11/2012

It is theoretically possible. But I would want to insure that your sleep apnea was under optimal control before considering narcolepsy . Would also depend on your history of when your daytime sleepiness began. Of you are using your Cpap. Etc. there are many factors to consider.