Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder of chronic type, in which one is unable to stay awake for long periods of time. It marks an excessive daytime sleepiness and abrupt episodes of sleep.
Home Remedies For Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy does not have a cure. But, establishing certain routines and using some home remedies can keep the symptoms of narcolepsy under control and manageable.
Eating A Healthy Diet-
- A diet that is low on carbs and gluten is highly recommended in people with narcolepsy. Carbohydrates make up for a heavy meal and it can make your sleep problems and lack in alertness even worse.
- Protein should be included in form of lentils, pulses, cereals, lean meat and fish. Amino acids in protein can help in hypocretin formation and new cell creation.
- Healthy fats are required for maintaining healthy brain functions, which include several like memory, speech and motor skills. Also, several vitamins like A, D, E and K need fat to get properly absorbed in the body.
- Drinking enough water to stay hydrated is of prime importance. Dehydration can cause damage to cells. (1)
- Maintaining a healthy and regular sleep routine is vital to keep narcolepsy symptoms under control. A restful sleep at night can ensure that you stay alert and focused during the day. (1)
Napping During The Day-
- Taking two small naps, say for about 15 minutes, during the day will help in staying alert and may prove to be refreshing (1)
- Alcohol plays havoc with your nervous system. Your already sleepy body does not need an additional dose of sleep, which is sure to happen if you have been consuming alcohol.
- Avoid consuming alcohol especially before bed-time. While you will feel sleepy after consuming it, it is likely to wake you up at the middle of the night and you may have trouble falling asleep later. This may cause interference with your next day’s activities and you may feel ever more so tired and sleepy. (1,2)
- Avoid nicotine in any form. Nicotine may worsen your signs and symptoms of narcolepsy (1,2)
- Avoid driving when you feel sleepy
- If you have to drive, talk to your doctor about giving you medications and giving them at a time that will ensure you stay awake through the whole drive (2)
Establish A Routine-
- Establishing and sticking to a routine will ensure that you wake and sleep at almost the same time every day.
- Observe this even during the weekends
Conservative Treatment Of Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy does not have a cure. However, certain medications, along with some lifestyle changes as mentioned above, can help in managing the symptoms. These may include-
- These medicines stimulate the nervous system
- These are primary medications in treatment of narcolepsy
- These medicines help people in staying awake during the daytime
- Examples include modafinil or armodafinil
- These are newer medicines and are not so addictive as compared to the older versions
SSRIs And SNRIs-
- SSRIs also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and SNRIs also known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, these help in suppressing the REM sleep, thereby reducing symptoms of cataplexy, hallucinations, sleep paralysis etc. Examples include fluoxetine, venlafaxine etc.
- These medicines are useful in cataplexy, Examples may include imipramine, clomipramine etc. (2)
- This is a very effective medicine in cataplexy. It helps in improving the night-time sleep. If administered in high doses, it may help in controlling daytime sleep. Also, taking this medicine with other medicines like some pain relievers and alcohol may cause coma and sometimes even lead to death (2)
- Some of these medicines may cause unpleasant side effects like headaches, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, bed-wetting etc. (2)
Narcolepsy cannot be cured. However, certain home remedies along with medications can help in managing the symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medical and Alternative Treatments for Narcolepsy
- Impact of Narcolepsy on Patients Day to Day Life
- Can You Legally Drive If You Have Narcolepsy?
- Can Narcolepsy Go Away On Its Own?
- Is There Any Way To Prevent Narcolepsy?
- What Happens To A Person With Narcolepsy?
- Can You Have Narcolepsy Without Sleep Attacks?