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14 Famous People with Narcolepsy

Updated June 8, 2017 310.8k views14 items
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This list of famous people with narcolepsy is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Narcolepsy is a disorder caused by the brain improperly regulating sleep-wake cycles. Narcolepsy is often confused with insomnia, as individuals who suffer from the disorder have trouble sleeping at night. Narcolepsy is thought to be caused by genetics or environmental issues that result in a virus. There is no known cure for narcolepsy, but it can be treated with medication and therapy. These famous narcoleptics all struggle with the condition.

Who is the most famous person with narcolepsy? Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill tops our list. Churchill didn't stress much about his condition stating that, “You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner… Take off your clothes and get into bed… You get two days in one. Well, at least one-and-a-half.” Thomas Alva Edison, Louis Braille, and Harriet Tubman also suffered from narcolepsy.

Narcolepsy also impacts more modern Hollywood celebrities. Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel wrote an essay for Esquire about his condition. In it, Kimmel states, “Truth be told, I'd rather have narcolepsy than not have it. When I get on a flight to Vegas, I'll fall asleep before the plane takes off and wake up after it's landed. I'm always very close to sleep.”

What do you think of the famous people who suffer from narcolepsy? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • Cyclist Franck Bouyer was disqualified from competing in the sport he loves because his narcolepsy medication was considered a performance enhancing drug.  Bouyer found the decision and has since been allowed to compete.
    • Age: 47
    • Birthplace: Beaupréau, France
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    British actor Arthur Lowe suffered from narcolepsy and was known to fall asleep and inopportune times.
    • Age: Dec. at 66 (1915-1982)
    • Birthplace: Hayfield, United Kingdom
  • Author Teresa Nielsen Hayden takes medication to treat her narcolepsy.
    • Age: 65
    • Birthplace: Mesa, Arizona
  • Bill Clinton's former deputy chief of staff suffers from narcolepsy.
    • Age: 82
    • Birthplace: Baltimore, USA, Maryland