Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the symptoms of Narcolepsy?

Symptoms that may occur in narcolepsy (but not always):

  • Cataplexy – a sudden loss of muscle tone, often triggered by laughing, crying or strong emotions.
  • Sleep paralysis – this usually occurs when waking up in the morning and lasts usually for 1 minute or less. It can be a frightening experience but it is not dangerous or harmful.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations are dream-like experiences that occur when a person is about to fall asleep (but not yet asleep). Hypnapompic hallucinations are similar but occur when waking up in the morning.

Narcolepsy is due to damage to a small group of cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter hypocretin (also known as orexin). We do not have a full understanding and how and why this damage occurs, but recent research suggests an autoimmune process.

Dr Adrian Chazan



Dr Chazan is a Respiratory & Sleep Physician, and General Physician. Born in Melbourne, he undertook his basic medical training at the University of Melbourne. With a passion for sleep and breathing, he trained at world-renowned centres of excellence in Melbourne and Sydney, including Westmead Hospital, the Alfred Hospital and Monash Medical Centre. Adrian has been involved in research activities in the fields of sleep apnoea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exercise physiology.

Adrian utilises the latest findings in sleep research as well as the emerging technologies in diagnosis and treatment. He takes a patient-centered approach to medical care with the aim of empowering his patients to achieve better sleep and optimal long-term health outcomes.

Dr Rajiv Sharma



Dr Sharma completed his basic physician training in St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Subsequently he trained in Respiratory Medicine at The Canberra Hospital and Sleep Medicine at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Prior to relocating to Melbourne, he worked as a full time Respiratory & Sleep Medicine staff specialist at Townsville Hospital. Rajiv enjoys managing all aspects of Respiratory and Sleep disorders including Asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough, lung nodules, sleep apnoea, hypersomnolence, restless legs syndrome and other non-respiratory sleep disorders.

He also has a special interest in interventional pulmonology (bronchoscopic techniques). Dr Sharma also has keen interest and experience in medical education and research and has been involved in these areas for a number of years.