When Sleep Becomes a Nightmare: My Struggle With Narcolepsy

As I snapped back into consciousness, I found myself driving on the wrong side of a road that ran parallel to a beach, with traffic heading straight at me. Stunned, I yanked the steering wheel to get back into the right lane but somehow lined myself up perfectly with a telephone pole. My brain furiously … Read more

Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Narcolepsy

SOURCES: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Sleep Disorders: In Depth,” “Acupuncture: In Depth,” “Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s in a Name?” Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine: “Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health.” APA: “What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?” NHS: “Narcolepsy.” Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Natural Sleep Aids: … Read more

Tips and Tricks to Manage Narcolepsy Day-to-Day

When you’re living with narcolepsy, you can take charge of daytime sleepiness by getting treatment from a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine. It also helps to practice healthy habits, like getting on a sleep schedule, planning short naps, and eating a balanced diet. There’s more you can do to stay fresh and alert, … Read more

Is Narcolepsy an Autoimmune Disorder?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects your sleep-wake cycle. We still don’t know what causes the condition. But most people with type 1 narcolepsy — the kind with sudden muscle weakness, or cataplexy — have little to no orexin. Also called hypocretin, that’s a brain chemical that controls wakefulness. Now there’s growing evidence an … Read more

How to Navigate Relationships With Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a lifelong sleep condition that makes you very sleepy during the day. You might also have: Unexpected attacks of sleep Sleep paralysis, where you can’t move or speak when you wake up or start falling asleep Hypnagogic hallucinations, where you might see, hear, or feel something that’s not there Cataplexy, where you might … Read more

Narcolepsy and Your Diet

Eating well is a good choice for everyone, but it may be especially important for people with narcolepsy. If you have narcolepsy, you have a higher risk of obesity. People with narcolepsy “have a tendency to put on weight because of the pathophysiological changes in narcolepsy,” says Michael Thorpy, MD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders … Read more