Should You Live Alone With Narcolepsy?

When I express how much I want to live on my own again, people always ask me, “Is it a good idea to live alone with narcolepsy?”

It’s a question that I honestly cannot answer on behalf of the narcolepsy community. Like most things in narcolepsy, every case is incredibly unique. Personally, I find that I manage my narcolepsy much better when I live alone.

Living alone helps me prioritize rest

Firstly, having control over my environment and the autonomy to do things at my own pace are at the top of the list of reasons why living alone is ideal for me.

It allows me to make necessary adjustments to accommodate my specific needs and eliminates the need to take someone else’s schedules or preferences into account, helping to prioritize sleep and rest above all.

Maintaining my sleep routine and nap schedules

Living alone also reduces potential interference with my sleep patterns. For those of us with narcolepsy, maintaining consistent and uninterrupted sleep is crucial. Living alone minimizes disturbances from noisy roommates or conflicting sleep schedules, allowing for a more peaceful and restorative sleep environment. This can significantly enhance the overall management of narcolepsy symptoms and improve daytime wakefulness.

Furthermore, having the freedom and flexibility to set my own sleep and wakeup times without having to feel judged by those around me takes an enormous weight off my shoulders. Being able to create a flexible schedule that accommodates your nap needs without constraints or worries is, in my opinion, something I dream of every single day.

Just these few points can drastically improve narcolepsy symptoms!

A healthy balance that suits your needs

Another reason why I prefer living alone is the simple fact that living alone also allows you to reduce the stress caused by social obligations and expectations.

Have you ever felt pressured to attend late-night events or push yourself too hard? Living alone gives you the freedom to prioritize your rest and well-being without feeling guilty or having to explain yourself. You can decline invitations or adjust your schedule to find a healthy balance that suits your needs for managing your symptoms.

That’s not to say that living alone doesn't have its downfalls. Realistically, this really does depend on each individual’s personal experience with narcolepsy and the severity of their symptoms.

The downsides to living alone with narcolepsy

Living alone with narcolepsy can definitely also present unique challenges that can impact daily life in a negative way.

One of the most pressing disadvantages is the safety concerns associated with sudden sleep or cataplexy attacks. Simple activities like cooking, using appliances, or even taking a shower could become potential safety risks.

Additionally, the absence of someone to be there and give immediate assistance or support during one of these episodes can intensify feelings of vulnerability and isolation. Managing household responsibilities and maintaining a consistent routine also become more demanding, as the unpredictable nature of narcolepsy can disrupt various aspects of life.

Everyone has different needs and wants

Like everything in life, there are positives and negatives. I feel that living alone will provide me with the independence I desperately need at the age of 34.

As I mentioned before, everyone is different and has different needs and wants, so this will also impact whether you decide to live alone or with friends or family.

Personally, I believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and I truly cannot wait until I can finally make this dream a reality again one day.

What has been your experience with living alone or with friends, family, or roommates? Do you find one living situation preferable to another? Share with us in the comments below.

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