Dealing with narcolepsy can be challenging. Making adjustments in your daily schedule may help. Consider these tips:
- Talk about it. Tell your employer or teachers about your condition and work with them to find ways to accommodate your needs. This may include taking naps during the day, breaking up monotonous tasks, recording meetings or classes, standing during meetings or lectures, and taking brisk walks at various times throughout the day. The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against workers with narcolepsy and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees.
- Be safe. If you must drive a long distance, work with your doctor to establish a medication schedule that ensures the greatest likelihood of wakefulness during your drive. Stop for naps and exercise breaks whenever you feel drowsy. Don't drive if you feel your sleepiness is not well controlled.
Support groups and counseling can help you and your loved ones cope with narcolepsy. Ask your doctor to help you locate a group or qualified counselor in your area.
Oct. 24, 2012
- Ahmed I, et al. Clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of narcolepsy. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2010;31:371.
- Narcolepsy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm. Accessed Sept. 9, 2012.
- What is narcolepsy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/nar/. Accessed Sept. 9, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Sept. 1, 2012.
- Cao M. Advances in narcolepsy. Medicine Clinics of North America. 2010;94:541.
- Overeem S, et al. Narcolepsy. Sleep Medicine Clinics. 2012;7:263.
- Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 10, 2012.
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