Narcolepsy isn’t as simple as falling asleep while you’re giving a presentation because you’re just so tired. That is often a cliché perpetuated by Hollywood. Most people with narcolepsy are not actually falling asleep or becoming paralyzed during a sleep attack (although that does occur in extreme cases). Narcolepsy is caused by low or absent levels of the neuropeptides orexin-A and orexin-B (otherwise known as hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2). These neurotransmitters are released during waking hours in patients without narcolepsy, helping to prompt wakefulness. Those with narcolepsy have abnormal amounts of these neurotransmitters working as and when they should, which is why simply “getting enough sleep” does not help with narcolepsy.