Yes, this does sound a lot like narcolepsy. You don't need to have every symptom of narcolepsy to actually be diagnosed with it, however, you do need to have EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness). I was diagnosed with narcolepsy twice, and I am always exhausted as well and need to take naps during the day, however, I don't have cataplexy or sleep paralysis... It is really common for narcoleptics to have restless sleep at night as well, and the vivid hallucinations (along with noises) and dream-like feelings are also a key sign of narcolepsy. I usually have vivid dreams too and sometimes I have a hard time remembering what is real and what was just a dream. I, too, have never fell asleep randomly or out of the blue, like how most narcoleptics are portrayed, but everyone is different and the severity and number of symptoms present varies from person to person.
If you have been experiencing these symptoms for a long time, then you should definitely get a sleep test done and see a doctor. You will need to take an MSLT (multiple sleep latency test), where you take several naps during the day, to see how quickly you fall into REM sleep. It takes a normal person about 90 minutes for them to reach the REM stage of sleep, but narcolepsy can be found if someone falls into the REM stage almost as soon as they fall asleep (like for me, it took me only 6 minutes to reach REM!) This is how they find out if you have narcolepsy or not.
It's really a terrible thing to be diagnosed with this, since there really is no cure for it, so I really hope you find out it is something else that can be easily treated instead of narcolepsy!
Thank you very much for your help!
I hope this doesn't sound rude but do you (or anyone else) know approximately how much it would cost to go to a sleep specialist to get tested?