Lifestyle Changes to Manage Narcolepsy
Michael Jubinville, MPH
Most people with narcolepsy who make lifestyle changes find it easier to be alert during the day.
It’s important for you to regulate your sleep. This will help you be more alert during the day. Try to get about 8 hours of sleep each night.
Plan to take naps at certain times during the day. This will help you stay alert. Some people find 2 to 3 short (10 to 15 minutes) naps better than one longer one. Try each of these to see which works better for you.
Avoid Certain Substances
Be careful when drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol. Don't use nicotine products. Alcohol can make you drowsier. It also makes it harder to sleep at night. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants and may interfere with getting refreshing sleep at night or during daytime naps.
Exercise can increase your energy level and make it easier to get through the day. But, don't exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime. Exercise can boost your energy to a point that it keeps you from falling asleep.
Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. You should make sure it won't interfere with any health problems you may have.
Narcolepsy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116132/Narcolepsy . Updated November 14, 2017. Accessed September 5, 2018.
Narcolepsy. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/narcolepsy. Accessed September 5, 2018.
Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Narcolepsy-Fact-Sheet. Updated July 6, 2018. Accessed September 5, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 9/5/2018
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.
All rights reserved.