The Symptoms of Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy was brought sharply to my attention, when a friend of mine kept falling asleep during the day. The main symptom of narcolepsy is exactly that: excessive daytime sleepiness commonly referred to as EDS.
This type of sleepiness causes an individual to fall asleep without warning, which can be during a conversation, sitting, standing or more seriously when operating machinery including a vehicle. EDS may only last for a few seconds but because of the suddenness has the potential to be dangerous. Other symptoms of Narcolepsy can be memory lapses, hallucination, lack of concentration, fatigue, irritability, depression and exhaustion.
The Narcolepsy Condition
The cause of Narcolepsy remains unknown but is labelled as a sleep disorder, with REM (rapid eye movement) being affected by irregular patterns. Medications are prescribed for example: Ritalin or amphetamines which, although helpful, have the potential to be addictive and harmful and may lead to side effects, such as nervousness, irritability, paranoia, increased blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Rubin Naiman PhD, author and sleep specialist at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, is quoted as saying:
“Dr. Naiman suggests those with the condition can learn to sleep more healthily by optimizing general nutrition; eliminating alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, exercising regularly and napping routinely for 15-20 minutes as needed. Nutrients that can help manage narcolepsy include calcium and magnesium, choline, chromium picolinate, coenzyme Q10, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C complex (including bioflavonoids) and vitamins D and E.”
Natural Help for Sufferers of Narcolepsy
In my experience with family or clients the following helps:
- Nature’s Best Mega Minerals, Magabsorb, B Vitamin complex, fermented cod liver oil supplements
- No bread whatsoever unless using fermented flour
- No additives
- Consumption of organic sources of vitamin C – oranges, orange juice, blueberries, potatoes, red peppers as these are high in vitamin C
- Animal fats – cheese, butter, whole milk
- Going to bed at sundown or when first tired i.e. 9pm/10pm
- Getting up at sunrise or when first wake up i.e. 5am/6am
- A walk in the fresh air for at least 20 minutes every day.