Narcolepsy is the condition with excessive day time sleepiness. It negatively affects the quality of life. Although there is no permanent cure there are various coping methods that may help in managing symptoms.
Coping Methods For Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a chronic condition with no permanent treatment. The disease is progressive during the initial stage and then gets stabilized. The exact cause of this condition remains unknown but the probable reason for narcolepsy is the destruction of hypothalamus neurons by the immune system. Trigger to the immune system includes infection and brain injury. The symptoms of narcolepsy are managed by various medications that help to relieve hallucinations, excessive day time sleepiness, sleep paralysis, cataplexy, and anxiety. Apart from medications, various coping methods help the patient to effectively manage the condition and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Following are some of those coping mechanisms:
Exercise. Exercise should be incorporated into the daily routine of the patient. Though exercise, the neuronal connections are revitalized and there is an increased synthesis of serotonin and dopamine1. It also helps in reducing weight as most of the patient finds it difficult to lose weight. Upper body exercises, cardiovascular activities and running are exercises that may help in alleviating the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Drink Plenty Of Water. Drinking water within frequent intervals helps to keep the body hydrated and healthy2. Further, it would also help in maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. If the toxins get accumulated in the body because of low water content, it will interfere with concentration.
Take A Healthy Diet. Foods in diet and the time of food should be carefully chosen so as to get a better sleep cycle. Do not take heavy meals instead prefer smaller meals at regular intervals3. Do not take heavy meal just before going to bed. This may prevent sound sleep.
Manage Emotional Health. Poor emotional health is a trigger for narcolepsy symptoms. The patient should be able to control the emotions through various techniques such as yoga or massage4.
Good Sleep Habits. Poor sleep at night may increase daytime sleepiness. Further, taking a long nap in the daytime affects the sleeping at night. Thus, the patient should include good sleeping habits in daily routine. Keep the bedroom comfortable and set a daily time for sleep5. Allow the brain to adjust to sleep routine.
Be Informed About The Disease. Patient should have as much information about narcolepsy gathered from other patients or from third healthcare providers. They should know what triggers their sympotoms6. Through the detailed information with them, patients learn to adjust the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Join A Support Group. In order to get more information and emotional support, the patient may also join the narcolepsy support group. People of the support group share their experiences7. They also discuss new coping methods and learn to I have well with narcolepsy.
Listen To Favorite Music. In some patients, listening to favorite music helps hem getting sleep5. Listening to calm music refreshes the mind and is helpful in managing the condition of insomnia, especially in narcoleptic patients.
Lead A Safe Life. Narcoleptic parents are at increased risk of compromising their safety while driving or doing household and occupational activities; dozing off even for a moment risk the life of the patient as well as others moving on the road8. Narcoleptic patients are not able to concentrate and focus when driving for long. Similarly, there is an increased risk of getting injured while doing occupational and household activities.
Talk About Your Condition. Most narcoleptic patients lose their job because the employers and other colleagues, who do not know about this condition consider the patient as lazy and demotivated. Narcolepsy can be disclosed to the employer in formal or informal way9.
A various coping mechanism for narcolepsy includes eating a healthy diet, take good sleep at night, disclose the condition to the employer and follow safety measures.
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