Advantages of Narcolepsy
During this pandemic, I have learned the importance of positive thinking. When you think positively, positive things happen in your life; however, whenever thinking of narcolepsy, the first thing that comes to mind is all the disadvantages. The symptoms, medication costs, doctor visits, and the extended period of misdiagnosis, to name a few.
Narcolepsy has brought many challenges, but not everything has been terrible. Here are some cool advantages of narcolepsy that I have experienced.
I can sleep anywhere
I personally never have issues falling asleep or taking naps. On airplanes, at the dining table, or on 30-minute lunch breaks, I can close my eyes and take what I like to call a little "refresher." These naps are great because they help with alertness and overall put me in a better mood.
Being able to fall asleep is also beneficial when traveling to different time zones. While most people experience jet lag, a temporary sleeping disorder that causes fatigue and trouble concentrating, I quickly adapt to the time zone differences.
I'm always ready for an icebreaker
Another major perk to having narcolepsy is that you are always ready for "getting to know you" games. Games like Two Truths and a Lie or an ice breaker that requires you to say a fun fact should not be challenging because you can merely use things about your narcolepsy experience. Here some examples of what I like to use:
- I can hit REM sleep within seconds of falling asleep.
- I have a rare sleep disorder.
- I was sleeping over 15 hours at one point in my life.
- I am the only person in my family with a sleep disorder.
Less obvious narcolepsy options:
My own dreamy entertainment
I can somewhat control my dreams. I noticed it in college when I was dreaming almost every night. I can't control everything, but at times it feels like my own personal video game. When I want to fly, I start to fly.
Another interesting thing about my dreams is that if I wake up from a dream, I can continue the same dream once I fall back asleep as if I just pushed the paused button on a movie. Controlling my dreams is cool; however, I tend to get headaches afterward, and I usually wake up more exhausted than before.
I'm built different
The phrase "I'm built different" is slang for being unique, usually having more mental or physical strength than others. I consider anyone with narcolepsy to be "built different."
Physically, our brains have a lower level of hypocretin-producing neurons within our brain than the average brain. Mentally, we laugh, smile, work, and study while dealing with the symptoms that only about 16 percent of the world's population could relate to.1
We are sleepy but fight through it, and that is significantly impressive in every single way. The next time someone questions your ability to do anything, reassure them that you're built different.
What are some advantages that you have with narcolepsy? Let us know in the commens below.
Do you feel that your doctor understands narcolepsy?