Narcolepsy has no cure. However, medicines, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can relieve many of its symptoms. Treatment for narcolepsy is based on the type of symptoms you have and how severe they are.
Not all medicines and lifestyle changes work for everyone. It may take weeks to months for you and your doctor to find the best treatment.
You may need one or more medicines to treat narcolepsy symptoms. These may include:
Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can interfere with your sleep. Ask your doctor about these medicines and how to avoid them, if possible. For example, your doctor may advise you to avoid antihistamines. These medicines suppress the action of histamine, a substance in the blood that promotes wakefulness.
If you take regular naps when you feel sleepy, you may need less medicine to stay awake.
Lifestyle changes also may help relieve some narcolepsy symptoms. You can take steps to make it easier to fall asleep at night and stay asleep.
Certain activities, foods, and drinks before bedtime can keep you awake. Try to follow these guidelines:
For more tips on sleeping better, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's "Your Guide to Healthy Sleep."
Light therapy may help you keep a regular sleep and wake schedule. For this
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...
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