How Can I Help Someone With Narcolepsy?

Does narcolepsy make it hard to wake up?

Excessive daytime sleepiness.

Many people with narcolepsy are unable to stay awake and alert during the day.

There are times when they have an irrepressible need for sleep, or unintended lapses into sleep..

Can narcolepsy go away?

Narcolepsy is a lifelong problem, but it does not usually worsen as the person ages. Symptoms can partially improve over time, but they will never disappear completely. The most typical symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.

How are you diagnosed with narcolepsy?

Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). In addition, questionnaires, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, are often used to measure excessive daytime sleepiness.

Can you wait too long to treat narcolepsy?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Feelings of drowsiness or not getting enough sleep, or falling asleep spontaneously, are not a laughing matter. These symptoms could be a warning sign of narcolepsy.

Is narcolepsy a disability?

The takeaway. Narcolepsy isn’t one of the conditions the SSA considers a disability. But if your symptoms interfere with your ability to do your job, you may still qualify for benefits. The Disability Benefits Help website offers a free evaluation to help you determine whether your condition is considered a disability.

What does a narcoleptic attack feel like?

Other symptoms of a narcoleptic attack include the following: Cataplexy: Sudden loss of muscle tone that makes you unable to move. Hallucinations: Unreal sensations that are perceived as real. Sleep paralysis: Total paralysis just before falling asleep or just after waking up.

Why do narcoleptics gain weight?

Now researchers appear to have an answer as to why. It seems a deficiency of the neuropeptide hormone orexin, an ingredient that encourages hunger and wakefulness, may leave them with a lack of energy-burning brown fat. People with narcolepsy are not only excessively sleepy, but they are also prone to gaining weight.

What happens if narcolepsy goes untreated?

When left untreated, narcolepsy can be socially disabling and isolating. It often leads to the onset of depression. Type 2 diabetes mellitus may occur more often in people with narcolepsy.

What triggers narcolepsy?

Many cases of narcolepsy are thought to be caused by a lack of a brain chemical called hypocretin (also known as orexin), which regulates sleep. The deficiency is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking parts of the brain that produce hypocretin.

Do naps help narcolepsy?

Take smart naps. Strategic naps can help people with narcolepsy feel refreshed and productive. The best naps are 15-20 minutes and spaced throughout the day, without happening too close to bedtime.

Is Narcolepsy considered a rare disease?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the natural cycles of sleeping and waking. It is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day. This rare disease affects 2–5 out of every 10,000 people (1).

Can you suddenly get narcolepsy?

In narcolepsy, however, you may suddenly enter into REM sleep without first experiencing NREM sleep, both at night and during the day.

What are the five signs of narcolepsy?

There are 5 main symptoms of narcolepsy, referred to by the acronym CHESS (Cataplexy, Hallucinations, Excessive daytime sleepiness, Sleep paralysis, Sleep disruption). While all patients with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness, they may not experience all 5 symptoms.

Can someone with narcolepsy work?

Having narcolepsy does not necessarily stop someone from doing the job they want, but there are some issues which can affect work. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder, the effect of which is that the part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness does not function as it should.

What is the best treatment for narcolepsy?

TreatmentStimulants. Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system are the primary treatment to help people with narcolepsy stay awake during the day. … Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). … Tricyclic antidepressants. … Sodium oxybate (Xyrem).

Is narcolepsy a mental illness?

However, narcolepsy is frequently misdiagnosed initially as a psychiatric condition, contributing to the protracted time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. Narcolepsy is a disabling neurodegenerative condition that carries a high risk for development of social and occupational dysfunction.

Are narcoleptics always tired?

Narcolepsy is more than just feeling ultra tired. It’s actually a chronic brain disorder. People with narcolepsy have poorly regulated sleep-wake cycles, so they experience sudden and involuntary attacks of daytime sleepiness—whether for a few seconds or minutes—and often aren’t able to resist the urge to sleep.

What foods help narcolepsy?

Understand the Science Between Carbs and Narcolepsy In fact, a small study in Neurology found that the protein-heavy Atkins diet improved narcolepsy symptoms by 18%.

What is the life expectancy of someone with narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is not a degenerative disease, however, and patients do not develop other neurologic symptoms. In fact, older patients often report that their symptoms decrease in severity after age 60. Apart from falls or other accidents, narcolepsy does not affect a person’s life expectancy.

Does caffeine help with narcolepsy?

Consider your caffeine use. Some people with narcolepsy find coffee or other caffeinated beverages helpful to staying awake. For others, coffee is ineffective, or, in combination with stimulant medications, it can cause jitteriness, diarrhea, anxiety, or a racing heart.

What vitamins can help with narcolepsy?

Optimizing your vitamin D levels may be your single greatest weapon in combating a wide range of illnesses including multiple sclerosis (MS), narcolepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, and even some cancers. Vitamin D is classified as an essential, fat-soluble vitamin.