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Once you’re residing with narcolepsy, you possibly can take cost of daytime sleepiness by getting remedy from a physician who focuses on sleep medication. It additionally helps to follow healthy habits, like getting on a sleep schedule, planning brief naps, and consuming a balanced diet.

There’s extra you are able to do to remain recent and alert, too. Listed here are some easy ideas from sleep docs who’ve handled folks with narcolepsy.

Plan Your Week in Advance

Do you are likely to really feel sleepier throughout a sure time of day, just like the midafternoon? If that’s the case, attempt to schedule necessary actions away from it, says Ronald Chervin, MD, director of the Michigan Medication Sleep Problems Facilities.

If you need to do one thing that requires a excessive stage of thought or efficiency throughout a sleepier a part of the day, take a 15- to 20-minute energy nap first.

“That may assist energy you thru,” Chervin says. “And for a superb variety of folks, it’s about the identical as taking a short-acting stimulant” medication.

Additionally, attempt to keep away from overbooking your self to make it possible for your actions don’t eat into your sleep at evening, says Abhinav Singh, MD, medical director of the Indiana Sleep Middle.

“Give your self enough time to get better from a late-night engagement,” he says. Don’t guide necessary occasions or duties for the following morning if attainable.

Drive Safely

Work along with your physician to be sure to’re being protected whenever you get behind the wheel.

“In case you have a historical past of sleepiness whereas driving, then you shouldn’t drive till you will have that addressed and improved along with your sleep doctor,” Chervin says. “Borrow a experience, do no matter that you must for now. As a result of till we get you higher, you don’t need to be placing your self or others — both in your automotive or on the street — in peril.”

Singh agrees. He says folks with narcolepsy have the next tendency to get in automotive accidents, partly because of the lapses in response time that may occur whenever you really feel sleepy.

When you get your narcolepsy signs beneath management with remedy, you possibly can take some further steps to drive safely.

If you happen to assume there’s an opportunity you would possibly get sleepy throughout a shorter drive, take a 15- to 20-minute nap earlier than you hit the street to really feel extra alert, Chervin says. You can additionally think about using a rideshare service.

Singh recommends the following pointers for a protracted street journey:

  • Let family members know the place you’re going.
  • If you happen to’re driving alone, ask somebody to trace your telephone to regulate your progress.
  • Deliver your narcolepsy remedy.
  • Ensure you’re well-rested and never sleep disadvantaged earlier than you get behind the wheel.
  • Don’t eat heavy meals or drink alcohol.
  • Pull over to take breaks.
  • Drive in daylight. Spend the evening at a motel or resort.
  • If you happen to should drive at evening, journey with another person and ask them take over within the night.
  • Take a brief energy nap whereas your driving accomplice has the wheel.

Handle Muscle Weak point

Some folks with narcolepsy even have temporary bouts of muscle weak point or paralysis referred to as cataplexy. When you will have each situations, docs name it kind 1 narcolepsy.

An episode of cataplexy often comes on rapidly, build up over a number of seconds. If it’s extreme it could actually make somebody droop to the ground, Chervin says. Nevertheless it’s extremely unlikely to make you collapse and fall flat in your face, which could be a frequent false impression.

Many individuals with kind 1 narcolepsy really feel refined signs of cataplexy, like buckling knees, a drooping jaw or eyelids, and slurred speech, Singh says.

A powerful emotional stimulus, like laughter or shock, is usually what triggers it.

As soon as you recognize your cataplexy triggers, you may give your loved ones and mates a heads’ up about them, Singh says. As an example, you possibly can inform them, “‘Hey, don’t tickle past a sure level.’ … Or ‘Don’t deliver up our inside joke at an out-of-context scenario, as a result of it’ll make issues awkward for me.’”

Educate Your self and Others

Study all you possibly can about narcolepsy, Singh says. “Being conscious of the prognosis in its entirety and all of the options is a should.”

When you’ve schooled your self, it’s necessary to elucidate the situation to your loved ones and shut mates, he says. In return, they will give you emotional help and an additional hand whenever you want it.

Even have a dialog along with your employer or college. “Many employers, if educated, simply and willingly make lodging,” Singh says. You can ask for issues like brief naps or breaks at sure occasions, or a spot to lie down.

A letter out of your physician can get the ball rolling. They might help clarify to your employer or college how small lodging may make you much more productive.



Ronald Chervin, MD, professor, neurology, College of Michigan; director, Sleep Problems Facilities, Michigan Medication; previous president, American Academy of Sleep Medication.

Abhinav Singh MD, medical director, Indiana Sleep Middle; medical assistant professor, Marian College.

Sleep Basis: “Narcolepsy.”

Harvard Medical College: “Narcolepsy.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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