Picture this: You are sitting comfortably on your couch reading this post, and suddenly -- you're in snoozeville. Now, it's not that you were just really bored by that intro (at least we hope not), but it could be narcolepsy.
In narcolepsy, the boundary between the awake state and the sleeping state is very blurred. Rather than reaching the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage gradually, a person with this disorder immediately enters the REM stage in their sleep cycle. And while those with narcolepsy are constantly subjected to the ridiculous statement, "I wish I could sleep that much," the truth is -- not like that, you don't.
Narcolepsy is by no means fun or funny, and unfortunately, there is no known cure, but there are a handful of effective things you can do that just might help.
If you are 1 of the 200,000 people in the U.S. struggling with narcolepsy, you came to the right place for a little friendly advice. Here are some of the most effective ways to tackle that daytime drowsiness.
Take Strategically Scheduled Naps
Naps can be one of the best ways to manage excessive daytime sleepiness. For many people, taking a mid-morning and/or early afternoon snooze can be very beneficial because those times coincide with the circadian dips we all have -- which are exaggerated in those who have narcolepsy.
If you get sleepy around lunchtime, schedule a quick power-nap at 11:30. Taking one or two quick naps a day can be a very helpful way to combat daytime drowsiness. Sometimes, people will do what's called a "coffee nap," which is where they will take caffeine before they take a nap, so when they wake up in 20 to 30 minutes, the stimulant has kicked in, and they are ready to rock & roll.
Here are a few quick napping tips:
Nap in a quiet place with a locked door, if possible.
Try to keep your naps to 30 minutes or less to avoid entering a very deep sleep, which could cause you to feel groggy when you wake.
Turn out all the lights and close the blinds. Darkness triggers the release of melatonin in the brain to help you get to sleep sooner than later.
On a time crunch? Don't forget to set an alarm.
Set Up Good Sleep Habits and Routines
Having a good daily routine to optimize your sleep is essential to getting better rest at night. Here are a few healthy sleep habits that can be really beneficial for those with narcolepsy:
Keep your room at optimum temperature. According to experts, the ideal temperature for bedtime is around 65 degrees F, though it can vary from person to person depending on individual preference.
Make sure your room is dark. Did you know that light can disrupt your circadian rhythm? Always sleep with the light off and try some blackout shades or even a sleep mask to prevent unintended light from interfering with your sleep.
Avoid eating too close to bedtime. If you eat a late-night snack, you may have a harder time falling asleep if your body is still digesting. Avoid the late-night munchies and steer clear of spicy or high-fat foods. However, if you do feel a rumble in your stomach, drink a cup of water and try eating a light snack like a handful of almonds.
Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you hit the hay. TVs, cell phones, and computers can make it really difficult for your brain to wind down. In fact, the light they emit can actually suppress the natural production of melatonin in your brain, making it much harder to catch those ZZZs.
Optimize Your Schedule
Talk to your teacher or supervisor about ways you can limit the duration of your classes or work shifts. Those with narcolepsy may become fatigued more easily, so having a few more breaks throughout the day or shortening activity time may be helpful.
For instance, if you normally work 10-hour shifts, you may need to change your schedule to six or eight-hour shifts, depending on how severe your condition is. Taking breaks and quick naps (as mentioned above) can also be helpful.
Drink A Clean All-Day Energy Shot
One of the best ways to prevent daytime drowsiness is to enlist the help of a strong energy drink.
But many energy beverages on the market these days are packed with chemicals and other questionable ingredients, as well as a ridiculously high amount of sugar. Sure, you might feel energized for an hour or two, but what goes up must always come down, and when sugar is involved -- especially in high dosages -- you'll come down hard (sugar crash anyone?).
Skip the chemical cocktail at your local gas station and reach for a clean, all-day energy shot like the ones from Proper Wild. These powerful, plant-based energy shots are made with no preservatives, zero grams of added sugar, and absolutely nothing artificial, for a smooth, clean taste, without the junk.
All you need is one Proper Wild energy shot for long-lasting energy to help keep you focused, productive, and a little more awake.
Experts suggest that individuals with narcolepsy get at least 20 minutes of exercise, a minimum of four to five hours before bedtime. Why? Because exercise helps with good sleep, that's why.
If you exert yourself and have a rather busy schedule, you are more likely to snooze better at night than if you've been a couch potato all day long. When you're not active, you tend to phase in and out of alertness, which can really mess up your circadian rhythm.
Your body just can't figure out when it's supposed to be awake and when it's supposed to be asleep. So the more things you can do throughout the day to tell your body it's supposed to be awake, the better your daytime functioning will be -- and that will correspond to a better night’s sleep.
It can also help to exercise outdoors. There are certain triggers that tell your brain it's time to be awake, and one of them is light. So, try to get some sunlight outside every day, or at least open your curtains to get some natural light.
Oh, and one more reason to exercise: It can help to prevent weight gain, which is a high risk for people with narcolepsy.
Bottom line -- combat daytime drowsiness with exercise. Sure, it might be tough at first to get into the habit of working out daily, but after some time, you will really begin to notice the positive effects on not just your beauty sleep but your life.
A Final Word
Narcolepsy is an underdiagnosed and frequently misunderstood sleep disorder that affects more people than you think. And unfortunately, there is no cure. However, the good news is that there are some effective ways to help with daytime drowsiness, like exercising and drinking our clean, all-day energy shots.
Here at Proper Wild, we truly care about your health and overall well-being, so all of our powerful plant-based energy shots are made with organic caffeine from green tea for clean, long-lasting energy and absolutely nothing artificial.
Whether you're struggling with narcolepsy or just in need of a little pick-me-up, our energy shots can help put some pep in your step.
Check out Proper Wild today and feel the difference clean ingredients can make.