Gelineau's syndrome

What is narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a rare brain condition that affects the brain’s ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. It causes the person affected to fall asleep suddenly.

What causes narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is often caused by a lack of the brain chemical which regulates wakefulness. This, however, does not explain all cases of the condition.

Narcolepsy is thought to affect about 30,000 people in the UK.

There is currently no cure, but medication and improving your sleeping routine can help.

What are the symptoms of narcolepsy?

Symptoms of narcolepsy may include:

  • excessive sleepiness during the day
  • sleep attacks
  • temporary loss of muscle control
  • sleep paralysis

Are you affected by narcolepsy?

If you’re affected by narcolepsy, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with narcolepsy, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with narcolepsy from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with narcolepsy

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with narcolepsy? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including narcolepsy, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on narcolepsy and on many other related neurological conditions

Visit our library to read a range of resources on narcolepsy, including:

Or search the catalogue online here.

Support groups

Narcolepsy UK

Narcolepsy UK runs regular and online support group meetings. Click here to find a support group near you.

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up a narcolepsy support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

Narcolepsy UK

Contact (for families with disabled children)


Submit an online enquiry.

Phone: 0808 808 3555 (Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm).