Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness despite adequate nighttime sleep. Learn how you can try and cope with this disorder.
Do you find yourself worn out to perform basic tasks? There can be several reasons for fatigue or tiredness and one of them is narcolepsy. In most cases, fatigue is the result of a patient's habits and routines. However, an underlying condition can also be a reason.
Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness despite adequate nighttime sleep. The other symptoms of narcolepsy are sudden loss in muscle function, sleep paralysis and hallucinations.
How to Deal with Narcolepsy
As of now, there is no cure available for the disorder, but certain lifestyle changes and medications can help one to cope with narcolepsy. The following steps will help you cope with this challenging condition.
Create a Nap Schedule
In order to combat excessive daytime sleepiness, you can take short scheduled naps for 10 to 15 minutes, at least twice a day.
Create a Work Schedule
If you are working, inform your boss immediately about your condition. Provide him/her with a doctor's note to verify your condition so that changes can be made to your work schedule. You could also can ask to make a schedule that allows time for naps throughout the day to prevent any unscheduled naps.
Be Consistent with your Sleep Schedule
You need to maintain a proper sleep schedule to deal with the neurological disorder. Besides adhering to sleep schedule, avoid shift work. Make it a habit to sleep and wake up around the same time everyday. This will better the quality of night sleep and prevent fatigue during the daytime.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
It is important that you exercise regularly, but it should be of low to moderate intensity. Do not engage in strenuous workouts, particularly before 3 hours of sleep. Narcoleptic patients can experience sudden loss of muscle strength if they engage in strenuous activity.
Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake as these can interfere with the chemical balance of the body that helps limit narcoleptic episodes.
Avoid Long-distance Journeys and Working with Hazardous Machinery
Narcoleptic patients must avoid jobs that require long distance driving or dealing with hazardous machinery. The patients may experience brief microsleep episodes while performing normal activities but have no memory of it upon waking.
Work with your Doctor for Medications
After you know which medications work for you, discuss it with your doctor to develop a detailed medication schedule. This becomes more important when you are planning a trip. Ask for the expert’s advice to make your trips hassle-free.
Coping with narcolepsy is definitely a challenge. The patients can feel lethargic throughout the day and fall asleep without warning. Through medical supervision and proactive care, narcolepsy can be managed and prevented from interfering with your daily activities.
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