Studies have shown that sleep loss on a daily basis is the reason behind various health issues one may face. When you are sleep-deprived for longer period of time, you tend to suffer from physical, psychological and sexual issues. Narcolepsy is one of the majorly occurring neuro-sleep disorders. It often shows excessive daytime sleepiness as its major symptoms along with others that include cataplexy, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, changes in rapid eye movement or REM sleep etc. Your doctor might keep you on several medicines and therapies to eradicate these symptoms completely.
What exactly is narcolepsy? How to know if you are narcoleptic?
As mentioned above, it is a neurological condition which is often characterized by uncontrollable urge to fall asleep especially in the daytime. The sufferer does not get enough sleep at night or get intermittent sleep due to which he tends to fall asleep in the daytime. These sleep pangs visit a sufferer at any time of the day irrespective of him being at work or home or even driving a vehicle. This could lead to serious life-threatening condition and thus it is important to treat narcolepsy on time.
If you have been experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness quite lately, you might be dealing with narcolepsy. Your doctor might evaluate your condition to know whether you are hallucinating. Hallucinations are pretty common when one is dealing with narcolepsy. These can happen when you wake up and can be quite frightening and intense. Alongside sleep paralysis is often experienced by a sufferer. He might experience temporary immobility right after waking up. One may also experience cataplexy along with other symptoms. Cataplexy is defined as involuntary emotional responses which are often triggered by laughter, crying etc. In some cases, a person collapses. Interestingly enough, during these stages the person is conscious about his surroundings and these episodes but couldn’t do much about it. If you face any or all of these symptoms, you can say that you are narcoleptic and need immediate medical assistance to start the treatment.
7 ways to defeat narcolepsy to lead a normal life
We are fortunate enough to live in a medically advanced era. We can treat narcolepsy with better medicines and therapies which we are going to explore further. Read on further to know 7 ways to deal with this stubborn sleep issue effectively.
1. Lifestyle change
Though narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder, it has its roots hidden in your lifestyle as well. Blaming to the rat-race kind of lifestyle we have adopted, we do not get enough time to sleep. Many of us work till late in the night and wake up early to start our day. Unknowingly or knowingly, we have hampered our sleep cycle. A fast-paced lifestyle is one of the major reasons why more and more people are dealing with sleep issues like narcolepsy.
2. Daily exercise
Working out daily has various benefits. It not only helps us to shed those extra pounds but it also has huge positive impact on our sleep cycle. No matter how many hours you spend at the workplace, you must take out time from your schedule to work out. It needs not to be something heavy like lifting weights in the gym. A simple 15 minutes brisk walk daily is enough. Consistency is the key here!
A wholesome diet is the secret to a healthy body and mind. Include green leafy veggies, root veggies, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet and see the magic unfolding right in front of your eyes. When you eat nutritious meal, you give your body all the necessary vitamins and minerals. A nourishing diet plays an important role in keeping narcolepsy symptoms down.
4. Avoid alcohol and smoking
These two do nothing good to your body. Also they have negative impact on your sleep schedule. Furthermore, alcohol consumption and smoking are linked to various health issues which have potential to affect your sleep in more severe ways. Alcohol and smoking can affect your sleep schedule and thus it is better to quit these habits.
5 Maintain a regular sleep schedule
It might sound difficult in the beginning but eventually you will get habitual to it. Many people have reported improved sleep cycle despite being narcoleptic for a brief period of time when they maintained a regular sleep schedule. You need to plan your day well in advance so that you can hit the sack when its time. You may toss and turn in the bed for the initial days but later on your sleep cycle will get aligned.
6. Take power naps
You have no idea how impactful a power nap could be until you had one. Your sleep cycle consists of night-time sleep and two powernaps 15 minutes each throughout the day. If you are working from home given the Covid-19 or Corona virus pandemic we are going through, it is easy to take two powernaps. If you have resumed office, you can request the management to allow you have powernaps to deal with narcolepsy.
7. Watch your carbs intake
Many people feel drowsy after having a lunch which has maximum amount of carbs. This becomes more apparent when you are dealing with narcolepsy. Carbs gets cut down into sugar when digested which ultimately make you sleepy. Therefore, to stay alert and focused, you need to watch your carbs intake. Try to replace simple carbs with complex ones such as whole grains, oats etc because they take longer to digest and release sugar slowly. Also, cut down on sugar intake and instead eat berries or fresh fruits to satiate your sweet tooth.
Narcolepsy symptoms can be treated with medicines and therapies. Your doctor will suggest you which one to go for. Nootropic medicines are the best to eradicate excessive daytime sleepiness. it is advised to talk to your doctor before taking any medicine.