What is narcolepsy?
Sleeping is a part of our life. During the sleep, we fill our batteries. Also, we get physical and mental rest. Disorder of physical balance of the body gradually happens when we are awake. So, we must sleep for getting back the normal physical balance. Narcolepsy is sleep disorder with a basic symptom of spontaneous falling asleep. Narcolepsy probably is a genetic disease which causes loss of cells in the hypothalamus in the brain. This condition usually begins in adolescence, but also can appear at any age. If you feel excessive daytime sleepiness check the following symptoms:
- Suddenly falling asleep during normal daily activities,
- Sleeping problems and disorders,
- Sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone, which can cause patient to fall down
- Muscle paralyze or hallucinations.
Over 3 million people in the world suffer from narcolepsy. People often connect the narcolepsy with depression, epilepsy or side effect from some medications.
Common symptoms and related conditions to narcolepsy
- Hypersomnolence is an irresistible desire for sleeping when a person should be awake. The dream may occur during walking, driving a car, speaking or eating. A person who has this problem falls asleep easy, especially when reading a newspaper and watching TV. Also, the person can wake up immediately.
- Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone as a result of strong emotional feelings (usually stress, joy or anger). It’s manifesting with a total or slight weakness of the body, usually on the face or the legs. An attack of cataplexy occurs when a person is awake.
- Hypnagogic hallucinations can be optical or acoustic, which occur before falling asleep (in the time before wakefulness and falling asleep).
- A hypnagogic paralysis is a type of paralysis which appears during hypnagogic hallucinations.
Narcolepsy is usually diagnosed with tests (polysomnogram – PSG and multiple sleep latency tests) at the medical center.
First of all, you must eliminate all situations which lead to falling asleep. For example heated rooms. Next, you should take regular afternoon naps, physical exercises and avoid monotonous activities. Narcolepsy patients can’t work as drivers, pilots, train drivers, etc.
Usually, treatment includes agrypnotics (a medication that prevents sleep) with the main goal of keeping the patient awake during the day. Also, you should avoid an emotional situation.
Natural treatment of narcolepsy
Few studies so far approved that proteins keep as awake. From the results of these studies, orexin cells are responsible for wakefulness regulation. These cells synthesize compounds which make brain stimulation. Further on, the irregular functioning of orexin cells leads to sleep disorders and narcolepsy. Malfunctioning is also related to obesity.
After extensive analysis, scientists have concluded that the amino-acid formed by decomposition of the proteins gives additional stimulation of orexin cells. So, you should enrich your diet with more protein food. You just need to find your favorite protein food and enjoy more. Protein sources are divided into two categories, animal, and vegetarian sources. Our recommendation is to combine them both. Best animal protein sources are chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, yogurt, feta cheese while beans, soybeans, lentils, and nuts (different kind of nuts) are the best vegetarian source of protein.
Some outdoor physical activity can be also helpful for narcolepsy patients. Try mountaineering, walking on fresh air, running, cardio exercises or yoga.