Narcolepsy Symptoms and Clinical Features Mnemonics

We have several interesting mnemonics to remember the clinical features of Narcolepsy.


  • Cataplexy
  • Hallucinations
  • Attacks of sleep
  • Paralysis on waking
  • Usual presentation is a young male, hence “chap”

Narcolepsy is characterized by :

Excessive daytime sleepiness (Associated with dozing off, or so-called “sleep attacks”)

Hypnagogic hallucinations occurring when falling asleep (GOing to bed)

Hypnopompic hallucinations occurring when waking up (POMPing out of bed)

Cataplexy (emotionally triggered transient muscle weakness)

Sleep paralysis (Inability to move for one or two minutes immediately after awakening.) 

It is caused by decreased hypocretin / orexin production by the lateral hypothalmus.

Orexin, also called hypocretin, is a neuropeptide that regulates arousal, wakefulness, and appetite. 

Another useful mnemonic for NARCOLEPSY symptoms is CHESS.

The 5 major narcolepsy symptoms can be remembered using CHESS –  cataplexy, hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations, excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, and sleep disruption.

Narcolepsy tetrad can be remembered using the mnemonic CASH.



Sleep paralysis

Sleep attacks

Hypnagogic hallucinations

Hope that mnemonic helped. Got a better mnemonic for the same? Let us know in the comments below.
Also check out these useful medical mnemonics.

More Mnemonics to make your life easier 🙂

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