Fine Tune Your Narcolepsy Symptoms
Besides any medication a doctor can prescribe you, you can do some things yourself to fine-tune your narcolepsy symptoms.
The following lists are based on positive patient experiences which could bring you some relief. Some you might have heard about already from your doctor. Some might be new to you. Not everything may work for you, personally.
Fine-tuning your narcolepsy with a small percentage of improvement here and there could just make the difference you are looking for.
Sleep hygiene tips
Sleep hygiene is all about creating the best circumstances to sleep well each and every night.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to do this even on weekends or during vacations.
- Do the same with taking your possible medication.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Use white noise to filter out small sounds.
- Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Keep it dark enough to tell your brain it is night. Avoid using your cellphone.
- Get out of bed directly in the morning. Don’t snooze.
- Look for daylight to tell your brain it is daytime.
Healthy living, eating, and drinking tips
- Exercise regularly or get your 10,000 steps a day.
- Avoid intense workouts in the evening.
- Avoid carbs and refined sugars.
- Avoid eating large or heavy meals before bedtime.
- Avoid drinking caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Lower your fluid intake before bedtime.
- Try a keto diet if you can bring up the discipline.
Time management tips
Good time management enables you to get more done in less time.
- Cook bigger meals for more days and freeze them.
- Prioritize your tasks.
- Daily, set a few reasonable goals. If you feel you can do more after that, it’s okay. If you can’t, it’s okay too because you met your goal. You will feel better this way.
- Keep space for an unexpected task. Each day comes with surprises.
- Don’t strive for perfection. Just get it done.
- Schedule your nap(s) to be more productive.
Stress management tips
- Stress is the biggest trigger at the height of our symptoms. Try to avoid or manage it.
- Avoid toxic people including family.
- Handle the stress you can. Learn to forget the things you have no influence on.
- Try to clear your head before sleep. Use yoga for example.
Caring for yourself and letting others help
- Don’t be so harsh on yourself. We have narcolepsy and there is no cure. We have limitations and need to do all on an almost empty battery. Would you ask yourself to walk when you’re home with a broken leg?
- Dare to ask for help. You have friends, family, or a church community.
- Find other people with narcolepsy in your area or join a narcolepsy Facebook group. Sharing often helps.
Now, not everything will fit in your way of life. I know what I should do, but it doesn’t mean I do all these things. We all make our own choices. I need to remind myself every now and then to look at this list. Some of the disciplines listed here are surely not easy.
Please comment here if you have any tips since I’m always curious about what others do.
What is the hardest part of coping with narcolepsy?