To lessen the effects and control the symptoms of narcolepsy, a change in diet and meal times is absolutely essential. A healthy diet can support brain function, promote repair and trigger the normalization of the sleep cycle. Much like how a healthy diet can assist in the improvement of this condition, there are also foods that can worsen it. Read on to learn how to modify your diet to reduce the effects of narcolepsy on your daily life.
High levels of glucose have been found to inhibit orexin neurons, so reducing your consumption of sugar and other simple carbohydrates (like those often found in processed and grain-based foods) may be beneficial. Glucose consumption is also associated with more erratic changes in energy levels during the day — so if you are getting most of your calories from glucose, drops in energy levels during the day may trigger narcolepsy symptoms.
Starting a ketogenic diet is one of the most employed techniques to help in decreasing the effects of narcolepsy. A ketogenic diet contains high-fat, adequate protein, and low carbohydrates. Avoid foods high in carbohydrates, like starchy fruits and vegetables, grains, bread, pasta, and sugar. Ketogenic diet has been used for curing difficult to control epilepsy in children. Ketogenic diet is a neuroprotective and disease-modifying diet. So, it benefits adult neurogenetic disorders, which include narcolepsy.
Some of the recommended foods that you can eat when on a ketogenic diet include the following:
- Coconut oil — Consuming coconut oil increases the ketone levels in the blood. Ketones provide a clean source of energy for the body and assists in brain maintenance and repair.
- Raw, grass fed butter — Raw organic butter is high in fat and low in carbs. The intake of this food provides the body with saturated fats, a type of healthy fat that is essential for improving brain function.
- Wild-caught salmon, sardines and anchovies — Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids support brain function and memory. These foods also contain tryptophan , an amino acid that gets processed into serotonin and then melatonin. Melatonin promotes sleep by aiding in the prevention of nighttime wakefulness in narcoleptic patients.
- Nuts and seeds — Eating foods rich in magnesium and calcium may help narcolepsy patients by reducing muscle weakness and restlessness. Raw nuts and seeds are good sources of magnesium, calcium and melatonin .
You shouldn’t stop with just your diet in your attempts to control narcolepsy. These other lifestyle changes are suggested by doctors and researches as methods of alternative home treatment or as an addition to medical treatment.
- Exercise regularly:This means consistent moderate exercise no less than 4 hours before bedtime.
- Take naps:Schedule 15-20 minute naps for regular intervals throughout the day which should keep you rested for 1-3 hours.
- Stick to a sleep schedule:Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- Eat regularly but not heavily:Eat light meals at regular intervals throughout the day.