What is Narcolepsy with Cataplexy? Watch Ode to Joy Movie PSA

Recently, Project Sleep proudly partnered with IFC Films and Ode to Joy Director, Jason Winer, to create a narcolepsy with cataplexy PSA. Please share with friends and family to raise critical awareness of narcolepsy today!



On August 9, 2019, the feature film, Ode to Joy released in select theaters and via video on demand to rent at home in the United States. The film features a main character portrayal of narcolepsy with cataplexy, a neurological condition affecting 1 in 2,000 people worldwide. 

While Project Sleep was not involved in the development or filming of Ode to Joy, our organization aims to help viewers and the narcolepsy community discuss the film and learn more about narcolepsy with cataplexy.


Project Sleep’s strategic efforts surrounding the film’s release included:

  1. Partnering with IFC Films and Director Jason Winer to create the Narcolepsy with Cataplexy PSA .
  2. Working with the film’s team to create a Resources Page on the movie’s website to help viewers access proper medical attention and key websites to learn more about narcolepsy.
  3. Providing the film’s stars and director with a Media Guide with suggested language choices and accurate talking points in preparation for media interviews.
  4. Publishing Project Sleep’s Ode to Joy webpage with a Discussion Guide and other key resources.
  5. Providing narcolepsy experts and sleep clinicians with a Cheat Sheet to help them discuss the film with patients and colleagues.
  6. Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare published “Ode to Joy” Movie Review From A Person Living with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy on her blog.
  7. Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare published New movie featuring narcolepsy with cataplexy: What sleep doctors should know on AASM’s blog.


These efforts, both the collaborative and independent pieces, were high priority for Project Sleep this summer. Representations of narcolepsy in film provide valuable insight into public perceptions and understanding of the condition. For many individuals, cinematic depictions of narcolepsy may be their only exposure to the symptoms and impact of the condition. Thus, patient-driven organizations like Project Sleep benefit from being aware of movie portrayals of narcolepsy and joining the conversation as much as possible.


Please spread the word about our PSA and resources to raise critical awareness of narcolepsy. Culturally-relevant opportunities to educate the public on narcolepsy are few and far between. Let’s leverage this exciting momentum!

Share this...

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Pernille Jessen
    October 2, 2019 7:43 pm

    Do you know if its coming to other contries – in my case; Denmark? ☺️☺️ I really wanna see it! And share it with my family etc. ☺️

  • Sakhara Johnson
    November 18, 2021 12:06 pm

    I really loved Ode To Joy. I thought it was spectacular. Phenomenal performance by Martin Freeman. I know it was just acting but when watching the film I really thought he had narcolepsy w/cataplexy. It’s now one of my favorite movies. I love how the actor and co-actors were able to add some comedy to the situation portrayed by Charlie. As Narcolepsy is a serious medical condition..as someone who lives with it. A little humor is best to help ease the challenges.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Skip to content