Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable and uncontrollable sleep attacks. People with narcolepsy may fall asleep suddenly, even when they are in the middle of some activity. In addition, narcolepsy is accompanied by a feeling of fatigue throughout the day, sleep disturbances, sudden muscle weakness and dream-like states that appear in the phase between wakefulness and sleep.
Narcolepsy is associated with a faster-than-usual transition from a state of wakefulness to a state of deep sleep (REM, "dream sleep"), skipping the earlier stages of falling asleep. This situation leads to suddenly falling asleep and the "invasion" of the dream sleep into reality. The disorder can be detected at any age, but it is usually detected before the age of 30, usually during adolescence.
It is known that there is a genetic source for the disorder and that it is usually a family tendency to suffer from it. Recently, with the study of the genetic marker for the disorder, a close relationship between it and autoimmune diseases was discovered, and today the argument that there is a connection between narcolepsy and some immune deficiency is being examined.
According to Cleveland Clinic, some lifestyle alterations can help better manage narcolepsy. Some of them include;
. Follow a regular sleep/wake schedule
. Keep a regular sleeping routine.
. Avoid willful sleep loss, such as staying awake late on weekends
. Make your bedroom quiet by keeping it dark, cool and comfortable. Do not watch TV or bring computers or phones into bed with you.
. Desist from the intake of alcohol and caffeine (colas, coffee, teas, energy drinks and chocolate) for several hours before bedtime.
. Avoid smoking, especially in the evening.
. Avoid consuming large, heavy meals or a lot of liquids close to bedtime.
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