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This site is for US residents 18 years of age or older.

Narcolepsy Impacts More Than
Sleep—It Impacts Heart Health, Too

As if an uncontrollable urge to sleep wasn't bad enough, people with narcolepsy also have a 2x greater risk for heart diseases*

Narcolepsy is a chronic, lifelong condition. In addition to dealing with symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, people with narcolepsy tend to have higher rates of certain conditions than similar people who do not have narcolepsy, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and certain heart conditions.

Heart risks and narcolepsy by the numbers

Luckily there are ways to reduce this risk

Some risk factors for cardiovascular disease are considered "modifiable," which means that you may be able to limit their impact on your health. Not smoking, doing physical activity, eating a heart-healthy diet, and watching your sodium intake are all important things to consider as a patient with narcolepsy.

It is widely known that too much sodium will lead to high blood pressure. It’s also widely known that high blood pressure = bad.

  • Too much sodium in your system promotes water retention in blood vessels, which can stretch and stiffen the blood vessels over time. This causes the heart to work harder and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke
  • Reducing sodium intake may lower blood pressure over the long term

Did you know?

You can reduce sodium intake through what you eat and drink. But, did you know prescription and over‑the‑counter medications can also contain sodium? Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your sodium consumption.

At The Heart of Narcolepsy Video Series: Meet Brittany JoyHost Brittany Joy talks about why heart health matters to her as a person living with narcolepsy.
READ NEXT: Healthy Habits With Narcolepsy

*Odds ratio. An interview-based study compared 320 people with narcolepsy vs 1464 people without narcolepsy.

Odds ratio. A study compared 9312 people with narcolepsy vs 46,599 people without narcolepsy.