Living with narcolepsy can be hard. It can affect your ability to drive, work, go to school, and have relationships. Besides taking medicine, you can do many things to live a safe and fulfilling life.
Driving can be dangerous for people who have narcolepsy. Ask your doctor whether you can drive safely. To help make it safer for you to drive:
People who have narcolepsy can work in almost any type of job, but some jobs may be better than others.
For example, a job with a flexible work schedule can make it easier to take naps when needed. A job in which you interact with your coworkers can help keep you awake. Jobs that don't require you to drive or are closer to home also may better suit your needs.
Certain laws may apply to workers who have medical conditions, such as narcolepsy. These laws include the:
Living with narcolepsy may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. Talk about how you feel with your health care team. Talking to a professional counselor also can help. If you're very depressed, your doctor may recommend medicines or other treatments that can improve your quality of life.
Joining a patient support group may help you adjust to living with narcolepsy. You can see how other people who have the same symptoms have coped with them. Talk with your doctor about local support groups or check with an area medical center.
Support from family and friends also can help relieve stress and anxiety. Let your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help you.
Children who have narcolepsy may have trouble studying, focusing, and remembering things. To help your child in school:
If you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy, ask your doctor whether you should continue taking your narcolepsy medicines. Certain medicines may interfere with your pregnancy.
Dr. Emmanuel Mignot talks about advances in narcolepsy research and care
Sleep Disorders & Insufficient Sleep: Improving Health through Research
National Institutes of Health- (NIH) supported research is shedding light on how sleep and lack of sleep affect the human body. The NIH and its partners will continue to work together to advance sleep research. Read the full fact sheet...
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Narcolepsy, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.