Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder, involving the nervous system. It is a tendency in which a person falls asleep many times during the day. Usually, a healthy person lapses into deep sleep, which involves rapid eye movements (REMS), after about 90 minutes of falling asleep. However, for a person suffering from narcolepsy, he immediately lapses into deep sleep almost immediately after falling asleep.
Narcolepsy usually affects persons in the age group of 15 to 25. However, it is mostly undetected as it is not considered a disorder, by many. The following can be listed as some of the symptoms of narcolepsy:
- Intermittently, lapsing into deep sleep, a number of times, during the day.
- Muscle paralysis, during sleep.
- Hallucinations during sleep.
- Fatigue and listlessness
For diagnosis, the doctor follows physical examination with exhaustive questions on personal history. Tests like Polysomnogram and Multiple Sleep Latency Tests, are conducted during night and in the day time to study the patient’s sleep pattern. Treatment includes drugs which act as stimulants and antidepressants.
Some effective home remedies for narcolepsy are:
- Cayenne Pepper acts as a stimulant and helps in keeping a narcoleptic person, awake and alert.
- Since cayenne pepper is very hot and spicy, limit its use.
- Try using it in limited quantities in various food items prepared at home.
- It can also be used in soups.
- One really interesting warm soup which contains a little tamarind juice, cayenne, salt and turmeric, which are boiled and allowed to simmer later, can act as a good antidote to narcolepsy. Top this syrupy soup with some finely cut cilantro leaves and you have an excellent health drink ready.
Natural foods containing vitamins B and D:
- Patients with narcolepsy tend to be low in vitamins B and D.
- Hence, it is very important to eat foods rich in these two vitamins.
- Foods rich in vitamin D include fish like sardines, tuna, mackarel and cod. Also, eggs and mushroom contain this vitamin. Then, there is the early morning sunshine which gives a good dose of vitamin D.
- Foods rich in vitamin B (complex) include whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, eggs and fish.
- Consuming these two vitamins enriches the nervous system and activates the brain to function more effectively.
- Naturopathy is a system of medicine which believes that the body has an immense capacity to heal itself – this it believes, can be achieved by leading a natural and simple life and sticking to natural, vegetarian food.
- Naturopathy offers a cure to narcolepsy by advocating the patients to eat natural foods rich in vitamin and mineral content. For this purpose, vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, carrots etc., are advised to be consumed regularly.
- Also, as per naturopathy, preferring protein-rich diet and shunning a carbohydrate-rich diet would give relief to patients of narcolepsy.
Yoga and relaxation exercises:
- Narcoleptic patients should undergo a positive life style change.
- They should reduce stress and follow certain relaxation techniques.
- Learning yoga and sticking to a regular routine of yoga would help them get rid of the disease.
- Yoga enables better blood circulation to all parts of the body and to the brain too. It helps in oxygenating the various body parts.
- Certain light breathing exercises which are part of yoga help in deep relaxation of the body and mind.
- Religiously following a fitness regimen which includes yoga would surely bring good results for narcolepsy patients.
Some tips to manage narcolepsy:
- Avoid coffee before going to bed, at night.
- Listen to soothing and relaxing music before sleep at bed time.
- Involve in hobbies as this helps in keeping the mind alert and active.