How to Diagnose Narcolepsy. Essentially, the multiple sleep latency test, or MSLT is a nap study. It measures your sleepiness by measuring how long it takes you to fall asleep during a time of the day when you would normally be awake. It's typically the test used to diagnose narcolepsy although it can help detect other sleep disorders as well.

People who suffer from narcolepsy typically fall asleep in less than five minutes during the MSLT. However, keep in mind that there are people who do not have narcolepsy who also fall asleep within five minutes and those who do indeed have narcolepsy but take longer than five minutes to fall sleep. Like all diagnostic tests, it's a tool but is not necessarily definitive in and of itself.

The MLST also measures how many REM periods you have. Typically, people reach REM about an hour and a half after falling asleep. Narcoleptics will often have a few REM periods during their nap trial.


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