Narcolepsy: How Is It Contrasting With Insomnia?

Have you ever heard of the word “narcolepsy” or encountered a narcoleptic person? Is it unfamiliar to you? Maybe you are only familiar with words like “insomnia” and “insomniacs” because these are the usual topics covered in several medical forums and websites regarding sleep.

Insomnia is self-explanatory. Almost everyone is familiar with that word. Many people often define insomnia as being unable to sleep or have difficulty to fall asleep. In a broader definition, insomnia is failure to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as desired. Insomnia has a counterpart. It is another sleep disorder you may not be familiar with.

Sleepless woman lying in bed looking at the hours pass by.

Imagine a person driving a car. Then, he suddenly falls asleep. Think about a student who is studying for a big exam. Then, out of nowhere, his head slumps down on his desk during the day. Those are some examples of people who have narcolepsy. It can strike at any time of the day. Whether you are eating, walking, driving, et cetera, narcolepsy can strike anytime, anywhere. You now have a general sense of what narcolepsy is.

Narcolepsy is well-known as an uncontrollable tendency to fall asleep at various times throughout the day. A person who has this disorder may experience sudden sleep attacks in the most awkward situations. The said disorder usually starts to manifest itself on a person aged 15 to 25. The worst case scenario is, if narcolepsy goes undiagnosed, it may be difficult to treat.

Young man sleeping during a lecture.

Do you feel sleepy throughout the day? Are you unable to sleep properly at night? Do you feel random weakening of muscles from time to time? Do you experience falling asleep at daytime? If your answer to most of these questions is yes, then you may be narcoleptic, but don’t worry. Although there is no sure-fire cure for this disorder, it still has general treatments that can be used to prevent sudden sleep attacks.

Find treatment

Having narcolepsy is truly a difficult condition. It may lead to serious depression. Sudden sleep attacks can cause embarrassment and serve as a hindrance on a person’s ability to live life to the fullest. In some cases, people can become reclusive and withdrawn. Contact a psychologist or seek professional help. You may also join a narcolepsy support group to help you deal with the struggles of having this sleep disorder.

Narcolepsy support group for narcoleptics.

Change your lifestyle

Combine counseling with healthy lifestyle changes in your daily routine. You may be able to counteract the symptoms of narcolepsy. Exercising and planning a healthy diet can also help you attain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Take medication

Sleepiness, hallucinations, and cataplexy are some of the major symptoms of narcolepsy. Taking prescribed medication is highly recommended. To know more about side effects, consult your doctor. The commonly prescribed drugs for narcoleptics are stimulants, sodium oxybate, and antidepressants. Taking medication goes hand-in-hand with counseling and a healthy lifestyle.

Being narcoleptic or having insomnia is not a death sentence. There are many treatments available. You just need to do some research online. A good combination of positive attitude and preparation goes a long way. Live your life to the fullest. Don’t allow yourself to be a helpless victim. Have faith in yourself.

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Glenn Lopez

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