Narcolepsy is a rare and chronic neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to control sleep especially during the day. It is characterized mostly by excessive sleepiness which can be accompanied by cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations.
The cause of narcolepsy is currently unknown. Thus, there is no cure of the disease at this moment. The treatments for patients with narcolepsy are focused on the symptoms. These includes prescribing psychostimulants and antidepressants medications. However, pharmaceuticals sometimes have side effects. If you prefer natural ways to manage narcolepsy, here are some remedies you can try.
5 Helpful Natural Remedies to Stay Awake with Narcolepsy
Develop a habit of taking scheduled naps during the day. This is helpful to avoid excessive sleepiness which can affect your work performance, focus, and alertness. This also prevents sudden sleeping in an embarrassing place or time. It is recommended not to doze off for more than 20 minutes for every daytime nap as this can cause difficulty sleeping at night.
Rest well at night. Many narcoleptics struggle to sleep at night. This is one of the contributing factors why they are extremely sleepy during the day. However, when narcoleptics oversleep during the day, it can affect their ability to sleep at night. Hence, it becomes a vicious cycle.So it’s important to control daytime naps then develop good night time routines to sleep better. A massage, aromatherapy with lavender oils, turn off or dim lights, and white noise are some of the proven effective night time routines to sleep through the night.
Regular exercise. Working out is good for both physical and mental health. It releases happy hormones and makes the body feel calm. This is helpful to clear your mind, relieve stress, and avoid the onset of sleep paralysis and hallucinations.
Eat hypocretin-rich foods. Patients with narcolepsy are found to have low supply of hypocretin. It is a neurotransmitter that is responsible to keeping the body awake. Thus, eating food that contains hypocretin during daytime is helpful to improve wakefulness. Fermented foods like kimchi, dark leafy greens, salmon, and other foods with omega-3 fatty acids are great source of hypocretin.
Watch your carbs. Heavy meals like eating a whole plate of rice promote sleepiness. Thus, it is best to avoid eating carbs and sugary foods when you are in an important meeting to avoid falling asleep unintentionally.
These natural remedies for narcolepsy are practiced by many narcoleptics to help aid their excessive sleepiness disorder. However, please note that this rare sleep disorder differ from person to person. Please seek for a medical advice if your symptoms continue to occur to get the best treatment for you.