UVM Medical Center - South Prospect, Burlington

Sleep Program

 (802) 847-0379

1 South Prospect Street
Arnold, Level 2
Burlington, VT 05401-3456

Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes people to involuntarily fall asleep during the daytime from time to time. People with narcolepsy can't control when they fall asleep.

Narcolepsy: What You Need to Know


As narcolepsy involves the nervous system, treatment requires a combination of medication, behavioral treatments, and counseling. Our multidisciplinary team includes sleep medicine-certified physicians and skilled technicians, along with physicians specially trained in neurology, pulmonary disease, otolaryngology, mental health and pediatrics. Our team approach ensures that you receive the most comprehensive care possible.


Diagnosis of narcolepsy requires several specialized tests. Doctors at The University of Vermont Medical Center's comprehensive sleep care center use the latest technology in the diagnosis of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.

Personalized Care

The UVM Medical Center doctors tailor a course of treatment specifically for you depending on specific needs.

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

The UVM Medical Center has the only Sleep Center in Chittenden County that is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, considered the gold standard in the field of sleep care. This accreditation shows that a sleep center maintains the highest standards of care. In addition, you benefit from the clinical and teaching excellence and research-based expertise found only at an academic medical center.

What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes a person to have difficulty staying awake. Narcolepsy can cause a person to suddenly fall asleep during the day.

These "sleep attacks" occur even after getting enough sleep at night. The unusual sleep pattern that people with narcolepsy have can affect their schooling, work, and social life.

Falling asleep during activities like walking, driving, cooking, or talking can have dangerous results, both professionally and personally.

Symptoms include:

  • Intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden, short-lived loss of muscle control during emotional situations (cataplexy)

Diagnosing Narcolepsy at The UVM Medical Center

If your inability to sleep is ruining your quality of life, your doctor may refer you to our Sleep Center for evaluation. The diagnostic tests our sleep experts perform there include:

  • Consultation - During a 40-60 minute consultation we will discuss your symptoms, your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. Your doctor may make a preliminary narcolepsy diagnosis based on the information discussed in your consultation.
  • Sleep Study - To make a formal diagnosis of your narcolepsy your doctor will ask you to come to our Sleep Center for an overnight stay in order to conduct a sleep study. During the sleep study your doctors will use several non-invasive tests to diagnose your condition including a polysmnogram, a multiple sleep latency test and a hypocretin test.
  • Polysomnogram - A PSG is a non-invasive test that monitors many body functions including breathing patterns, respiratory airflow, brain activity, eye movements, muscle tone, heart rate and rhythm, and breathing pattern while you sleep.

Treatment for Narcolepsy in Burlington, VT

As narcolepsy involves the nervous system, treatment requires a combination of medication, behavioral treatments and counseling.

Find a doctor or specialist at The UVM Medical Center or call 802-847-5338.

Keith J. Nagle, MD
Clinical Neurophysiology
Diana L. Wilson, MD
Pulmonary Disease
Sleep Medicine