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What are the Most Common Narcolepsy Treatments?

By Lucinda Reynolds
Updated May 17, 2024
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Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness in the daytime. An individual who suffers from narcolepsy can fall asleep without warning. Narcolepsy is a dangerous condition and should never go without treatment. Narcolepsy treatments may consist of a combination of counseling, medication, and behavior modification.

An individual that suffers from narcolepsy can have more than just a sleep disorder. Narcolepsy can cause feelings of anxiety and fear because the individual cannot control when and where he falls asleep. In some cases, this can cause the narcolepsy sufferer to become withdrawn and depressed. Counseling is one part of narcolepsy treatment that can help the individual deal with these feelings.

The most common narcolepsy treatments include using medications to control symptoms of narcolepsy. Some individuals who have narcolepsy can suddenly lose muscle control while awake. This experience can be mild and involve a weak feeling, or it can be severe enough to cause a total collapse onto the floor. Anti-depressants are often prescribed to help deal with muscle control.

Stimulant medications are commonly used in narcolepsy treatments. These types of medications can help an individual who suffers from narcolepsy stay more alert. The use of stimulants in narcolepsy treatments is not without risk. These types of drugs can have dangerous side effects, and they can be addicting. It is important for an individual that is taking medications for treatment of narcolepsy to let his doctor know if he is experiencing any type of side effect.

Behavioral modification can be a great treatment for narcolepsy. A narcoleptic may find it beneficial to take several short naps throughout the day. Regular exercise can make an individual more alert during the day and stimulate sleep at night. Someone who has narcolepsy should avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol because these things will interfere with normal sleep patterns.

There are a few narcolepsy treatments that can be done at home. One such treatment is to go to bed at the same time every night. Individuals with narcolepsy may need at least eight hours or more hours of sleep each night. Meditation prior to bed can help an individual relax so sleep comes easier.

Proper nutrition is an important treatment for narcolepsy. It is a good idea to eat protein during the day because it can increase mental alertness. The evening meal should consist of complex carbohydrates because they can have a calming effect and increase sleepiness. Processed foods and sugar should be avoided.

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