Living with excessive daytime sleepiness

    • Brief

    • With excessive daytime sleepiness, you want to stay awake but suddenly find yourself very sleepy when you need to get things done. This happens even when you get a good night’s rest. You may have brief moments of clarity and sudden spells of sleepiness.

      Living with excessive daytime sleepiness is a struggle, but you can still live a productive life by following your healthcare provider’s recommendations.

    • When you get the diagnosis

    • Living with excessive daytime sleepiness (also known as narcolepsy) can affect different aspects of your life, reducing sleep quality, causing muscle problems and social anxiety. You may already be aware of these symptoms and challenges before you are diagnosed. Taking action early can help you address these issues and return to a productive life quickly.

    • Work and your health

    • Living with excessive daytime sleepiness can be frustrating, as falling asleep at work can be embarrassing. You can manage it and reduce the symptoms by following your healthcare provider's prescribed actions.

      Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines to help manage your symptoms and keep you awake at work. The medicines can help you reduce how often you feel sleepy and manage your muscle symptoms. Taking these medicines the way your healthcare provider advised you to will help you get the full effects of the medicines.

      Having good sleep hygiene can help you manage how often you sleep during the day and help you develop the habit of sleeping only in your bed. This involves going to sleep and waking at a particular time, finding a quiet room to sleep in at bedtime, not using your phone or tablet in bed, taking a shower before going to bed and doing other things that can help you sleep well at night.

      Taking naps before your activities can help you stay more alert while working. You may schedule your naps before your class or work starts. Doing so can help you stay awake for longer and get more work done.

    • Diet and nutrition

    • There are no special diets for narcolepsy, but your body will benefit from getting adequate nutrients from food. Include a lot of fruits (like watermelon and oranges) and vegetables (like carrots and fluted pumpkin leaves) in your meals.

      Some people may benefit from a specialized diet, like the ketogenic diet or the atkins diet. There is, however, no evidence to show that people with narcolepsy benefit from these diets.

      Keep hydrated. Drink a lot of water. Water helps your body remain healthy and may contribute to slowing down the disease progress.

    • Physical activity

    • Increase your physical activity moderately. Many people say they feel drained after a sudden burst of activity and may feel like they cannot move their hands or feet during sleep. Start with mild physical activities that you can tolerate, like walking.

      Let your healthcare know the progress you are making or the challenges you face. They can help you develop behaviours that limit the symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness.

    • Support from Family and Community

    • Seek support. Having someone you can talk to while going through your challenges can help you manage better. You may also talk to people who have gone through similar conditions. They are more likely to give you helpful tips.

      Tell your friends. Telling your friends about your condition may help them understand you better and plan your fun times at a time that is convenient for you. It also improves your relationship with them.

    • Financial Impact

    • Financial problems. Excessive daytime sleepiness may lead to the loss of your job if you have to skip workdays. The cost of treatment and hospital visits may also negatively affect your finances.

      If you have a history of excessive daytime sleepiness, speak with your healthcare provider about the type of health insurance that may be right for you.

    • Kulawa cares

    • Excessive daytime sleepiness is a long-term disease with no cure. The best bet for getting back to a productive and better quality of life is a mixture of medications and lifestyle changes.

      Your healthcare provider is a partner in this journey; they will work together with you to make decisions on the most acceptable way to increase alertness, reduce symptoms and minimize side effects.