More Information

Want to learn more about treating narcolepsy?

Information regarding the treatment of narcolepsy is widely available and can be accessed below.

Narcolepsy Overview

Treatment: Narcolepsy

Consult a healthcare professional prior to seeking any treatment for narcolepsy.

As there is currently no cure for patients with narcolepsy, the treatments that are currently available are directed at treating three categories of symptoms that narcoleptics exhibit. These symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, disassociated REM sleep (cataplexy, hypnogogic hallucinations, sleep paralysis), and disturbed nocturnal sleep. The types of treatments that are available fall into two main categories: medications and lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle Changes
Behavior Change Details
Scheduled sleep routine Regularly scheduled naps that are no longer than 15 minutes has been shown to help many patients with narcolepsy overcome daytime sleepiness. Additionally, having a routine night-time sleep schedule where the patient goes to sleep and wakes up at the same time everyday and gets at least 8 hours of sleep is also helpful in combating symptoms.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine Stimulants and depressants can often interfere with a person's sleep cycles during normal sleeping hours.
Exercise regularly Regular exercise can help make a person feel more awake, and encourages normal sleep patterns at night.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace A medical ID allows narcoleptics to alert others to their current condition in the case that they suddenly fall asleep or are unable to speak or move.

Medicinal Treatments
Symptoms Medication
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Stimulants: Modafinil, Methylphenidate, Amphetamines
Dissociated REM sleep Antidepressants: TCAs, SSRIs
Disturbed Nocturnal Sleep Sedatives: BzRAs, GHB

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