World Narcolepsy Day Fact Sheet: Creating Awareness, Improving Outcomes for Women


Published 8/30/22
narcolepsy day

World Narcolepsy Day, held annually on September 22, aims to raise awareness about narcolepsy and share resources for living well with this sleep condition.

Narcolepsy (a chronic neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness and, in many cases, cataplexy) and its symptoms often begin during adolescence but can go unrecognized for years before a diagnosis. One study found women were diagnosed with narcolepsy 28 years after symptom onset, 12 years longer than men diagnosed with narcolepsy.

Sleep disorders, like narcolepsy, differently affect women due to natural biological processes like menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as social roles, like caregiving.

This fact sheet, World Narcolepsy Day: Creating Awareness, Improving Outcomes for Women, was created by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) to recognize World Narcolepsy Day and share information about the unique challenges women living with narcolepsy face throughout their lifespans.

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Explore the Resources from the Fact Sheet

Check out another Fact Sheet on Narcolepsy!

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Rising to a Better Tomorrow: Addressing the Impact of Narcolepsy on Women’s Health

SWHR’s interdisciplinary working group of health care providers, researchers, patients and patient advocates, and policy leaders met to discuss the state of narcolepsy research and treatment for women.

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This material was created by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) and is intended to serve as a public educational and informative resource. This material may be cited or shared on external channels, websites, and blogs, with attribution given to SWHR, or printed and displayed in its original formatted version. SWHR encourages the sharing and reposting of its content in order to spread awareness around women’s health issues. For specific questions about sharing SWHR content, please reach out to


SWHR’s Narcolepsy Program is supported by educational sponsorships from Avadel Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences. SWHR maintains editorial control and independence over educational content.

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