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Signs & Tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and order blood work to rule out conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Conditions that can cause excessive sleepiness include:

  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Seizures

  • Sleep apnea

  • Other medical, psychiatric, or nervous system diseases

Other tests may include:

  • ECG (measures the heart's electrical activity)

  • EEG (measures the brain's electrical activity)

  • Genetic testing to look for narcolepsy gene

  • Sleep study (polysomnogram)

  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) to see how long it takes you to fall asleep during a daytime nap. Patients with narcolepsy fall asleep much faster than people without the condition.

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