Narcolepsy is a condition often played for laughs in media. Falling asleep without warning may understandably seem humorous. However, in reality there is truly nothing funny about this condition which can even be fatal in some cases.
In narcolepsy, a person might fall asleep without warning when driving, when descending the stairs, or when generally in unsafe conditions.
But this is actually relatively rare – and another example of the inaccurate portrayal of the condition by the media. What’s actually much more common is excessive daytime tiredness and brain fog. These conditions can make it extremely difficult to play an active role in what is going on around you, and to perform at your best in your career and relationships. For these reasons, it’s very important to find ways to properly manage the condition and to prevent it from taking over your life.
The good news? Someone with narcolepsy can still lead a full and largely normal life – as long as they know how to manage the condition.
Here are some examples of things you can do to make life easier and avoid a serious accident.
1 Take Day-Time Naps
Day-time naps are one of the most potent tools that narcolepsy sufferers have in their arsenals. Day time naps provide a way to ‘top-up’ on sleep, and may even be enough to provide hours of additional productivity.
The thing to recognize about day-time naps is that they work best when you allow a full sleep cycle to occur. This should be around 40 minutes in most cases – though than can vary significantly. Investing in a fitness tracker that is able to monitor sleep stages and wake you at the best time might well be a good move for someone with the condition – and learning to monitor your own sleep patterns is generally a very good piece of advice.
Find a quiet spot, and take 40 minutes out. The best time of day to do this is at 4 pm, which is one of the points at which our bodies are coolest and ready for downtime.