AWAKEN Survey Confirms Poor Awareness of the Impact of Narcolepsy

Study finds only 50% of Americans understand the significant health impact of narcolepsymany physicians not comfortable diagnosing the sleep disorder
A survey of narcolepsy awareness conducted in the United States and released in July by Jazz Pharmaceuticals confirms that the majority of Americans views sleep as highly important. But only 50% believe narcolepsy can significantly impact overall health. These findings seem inconsistent with evidence that symptoms of this serious sleep disorder can be severe enough to disrupt a person’s social, personal and professional life and limit their activities.
Results of the “AWAKEN Survey: Awareness and Knowledge of Narcolepsy” – also show that, compared with a set of other diseases of similar concern or prevalence, such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, narcolepsy was rated among the lowest in severity, and only 55% of adults who had heard of the disease considered it to be “very or extremely serious.”
AWAKEN results also reveal similar perceptions within the medical community. Primary care physicians (PCPs) and sleep specialists rated narcolepsy among the lowest in severity compared to other diseases (75% and 82%, respectively, considered it to be “very or extremely serious”).
Physicians also struggle with narcolepsy symptom recognition and diagnosis, with only 9% of PCPs and 42% of sleep specialists admitting they are comfortable diagnosing the disorder.
According to current figures, less than half of the estimated 125,000-200,000 people living with narcolepsy have been properly diagnosed, and many are not definitively diagnosed until10-15 years after the first symptoms appear.
Magnifying the WUN Mission
The AWAKEN findings amplify the need for the work of Wake Up Narcolepsy and similar organizations. We are dedicated to raising awareness of narcolepsy and funding vital research to find better treatment and a cure. Our efforts focus on the medical community, teachers, parents and the general public.
The success of our mission depends on your support. We offer a variety of ways for you to help Wake Up Narcolepsy help shed light on narcolepsy, including:
  • Financial donations
  • Our annual golf outing, this year on August 23 at Wachusett Country Club
  • Our Wake Up Nashville! songwriting contest, a smash hit in 2011 and bigger and better this year!
Thank you!