Date of Conferral





Health Services


Earla White


Many companies have used perceptions of their employees to understand how sleep disorders affect their working environment. Sleep disorders have had an undesirable effect on employee performance and often result in employee modifications to accommodate their condition in the workplace. Though information is available concerning employees' experiences pertinent to working with sleep disorders, research focusing on how employees with narcolepsy perceive their work environment appears to be missing from the literature. The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of perceptions of employees with narcolepsy about their work environment and strategies that may influence others to promote positive health maintenance of narcolepsy in the workplace. The repair and restoration theory of sleep and the disability theory guided this study. Fifteen employees with narcolepsy participated in this descriptive phenomenological study by sharing experiences of their working contributions to become or remain employed. Giorgi's data analysis strategy revealed thematic employee reports of declines in work performance as a factor for being employed with narcolepsy. Study findings established that participants believed sleep attacks and inability to multitask were barriers in the workplace. Scheduling naps and changing work tasks offset barriers to help the participants remain successfully employed. The results of this study may benefit the health services industry as it relates to knowledge and understanding about productivity, schedules, and tools of the work environment for employees with narcolepsy. Positive social change implications include improved work environments and accommodations for employees with narcolepsy.