Wake Up Narcolepsy is dedicated to breaking down the barriers stalling basic research into the causes, treatment and cure for narcolepsy.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports narcolepsy research (between $4-$4.5 million a year). NIH’s contributions are greatly appreciated, but more research is needed. WUN has quickly become a national leader in advancing narcolepsy research.

Narcolepsy is a serious neurological sleep disorder affecting 1 in 2,000 people – including 200,000 Americans and 3 million people worldwide.

This past decade has shown great promise in narcolepsy research and treatment options. Many primary care physicians and sleep specialists remain unaware of the basic symptoms and best available treatment options.  WUN is committed to spreading awareness of symptoms and treatment options to reduce diagnosis time and ensure best possible care for all patients. (See About Narcolepsy section.)

There are large public benefits to narcolepsy research:

Understanding Sleep and Wakefulness: Why do we sleep? Why do we dream?  Historically, our understanding of the sleep cycle, wakefulness and REM/dream sleep and wakefulness have been greatly advanced by narcolepsy research.

Understanding Autoimmune Disorders: Narcolepsy is the first known neuronal specific autoimmune disorder and may serve as a model for other diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism.

Understanding Insomnia, Obesity and Addiction: Research into the role of hypocretin could provide a “cure” for narcolepsy. In addition, recent studies are exploring whether hypocretin could play a role in insomnia, obesity and addiction.[1]

Explore WUN’s Contributions to Research.


[1]Narcolepsy Research Triggers Myriad Brain Studies,” by Carolyn Johnson, Boston Globe Nov. 30, 2009.