Behavioral therapies may help control symptoms including:
- Taking three or more scheduled naps throughout the day.
- Avoiding heavy meals and alcohol, which can disturb or induce sleep.
Counseling is very important for people with narcolepsy. The disease can also be quite frightening and the fear of falling asleep inappropriately often significantly alters life for people with narcolepsy.
In treating narcolepsy, doctors typically prescribe:
- Stimulants to improve alertness and diminish excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Antidepressants are often used to treat cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis.
- Sodium oxybate, a strong sleep-inducing agent, may be given at night to improve disturbed nocturnal sleep and reduce daytime sleepiness and cataplexy.