Coping With Narcolepsy

Coping With Narcolepsy: Enhancing Sleep Quality

Among the most important common-sense measures patients can take to enhance sleep quality are:
 
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages for several hours before bedtime
  • Avoiding smoking, especially at night
  • Maintaining a comfortable, adequately warmed bedroom environment
  • Engaging in relaxing activities such as a warm bath before bedtime.
     
Exercising for at least 20 minutes per day at least four or five hours before bedtime also improves sleep quality and can help people with narcolepsy avoid gaining excess weight.
 

Coping With Narcolepsy: Safety Precautions

Safety precautions, particularly when driving, are of paramount importance for all persons with narcolepsy. Although the disorder, in itself, is not fatal, excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy can lead to serious injury or death if left uncontrolled. Suddenly falling asleep or losing muscle control can transform actions that are ordinarily safe, such as walking down a long flight of stairs, into hazards. People with untreated narcoleptic symptoms are involved in automobile accidents roughly 10 times more frequently than the general population. However, accident rates are normal among patients who have received appropriate narcolepsy drug treatment.
 

Coping With Narcolepsy: Using Support Groups

Living with narcolepsy is not easy. Many people with narcolepsy find support groups helpful. Patients may want to talk with a member of their healthcare team about finding a narcolepsy support group.
 
(Click Narcolepsy Support Groups for more information about support groups.)
 

Narcolepsy Information

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