Narcolepsy And Alcohol- Can Alcohol Consumption Cause Narcolepsy?

narcolepsy and alcohol

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Ritalin to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children ages 6 years and older. Ritalin is also approved to treat narcolepsy in adults and children ages 6 years and older. Hypocretin is an important chemical produced by the brain for regulating wakefulness and REM. Lack of the chemical in the brain can cause narcolepsy-like symptoms. If a person with narcolepsy ingests alcohol, they may increase the challenging symptoms they are already dealing with. Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today.

Your daily habits and environment can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. Take the Sleep Quiz to help inform your sleep improvement journey. This pertains to all the authors of the piece, their spouses or partners. To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

Some tips include limiting alcohol intake, staying hydrated, sticking to a sleep schedule, and communicating with your healthcare provider. Yes, alcohol can disrupt sleep architecture, increase sleepiness, and trigger cataplexy, all of which can worsen narcolepsy symptoms. It prevents people from getting the deep sleep and REM sleep they need because alcohol keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep. To learn more about narcolepsy and alcohol, or to explore treatment options near you, reach out to one of our specialists today. Vertava Health’ alcohol rehab programs provide treatment to people from all walks of life. Our rehab centers combine traditional therapies like group counseling with medication-assisted treatment, relaxation therapies, and motivational interviewing.

narcolepsy and alcohol

Some studies have found different connections between symptoms of narcolepsy and impulsiveness, which suggest an increased likelihood of engaging in risk-taking behavior, including substance misuse. One 2020 rodent-based study explored why people living with alcohol use disorder (AUD) commonly have excessive daytime sleepiness. The researchers found that alcohol withdrawal decreased the expression of orexin. If you choose to drink alcohol, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests drinking in moderation — up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.

This post will explore the psychology behind risk perceptions, examining some of the biases we typically experience with respect to both societal and individual levels of risk. Sodium oxybate is one of the most effective medications for treating cataplexy. When well-tolerated, other benefits of sodium oxybate are that it can improve nighttime sleep and reduce EDS in addition to treating cataplexy.

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The World Health Organization used to define “moderate use” as up to one standard drink per day for women and up to two standard drinks for men. Today, the Organization isn’t so sure there is a level of alcohol that is safe for the human body. The most important thing you can do to treat this condition is to stop drinking. Others may be able to stop drinking with outpatient therapy or social support. Specifically, taking Ritalin could make it hard to know the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed. And drinking alcohol could make it hard to tell whether Ritalin is working for your condition.

Excessive daytime sleepiness tends to be worse during monotonous situations, so long drives in repetitive settings should be avoided. People with narcolepsy are generally advised to avoid work that requires extended driving. Consider participating in a clinical trial so clinicians and scientists can learn more about narcolepsy and related disorders. Clinical research uses human volunteers to help researchers learn more about a disorder and perhaps find better ways to safely detect, treat, or prevent disease.

  • Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety occur more frequently in people with narcolepsy.
  • Some people with narcolepsy may have dysbiosis, or an imbalance in your gut’s microbial community.
  • The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
  • However, this is not the case as they are getting less rest and are more likely to use a substance again.
  • The symptoms of narcolepsy can cause feelings of social stigma that may lead to withdrawal and isolation.

Patients who meet the formal diagnostic criteria for narcolepsy and either alcohol use disorder or addiction would need to treat both disorders simultaneously. People who increase their alcohol intake to address a sleep issue can become dependent on the substance. When a person is dependent on alcohol, their body requires the substance to perform everyday functions, including sleep. They may initially drink to induce a feeling of relaxation, but over time, this habit can develop into alcohol use. When people are chronically tired, they may develop symptoms of narcolepsy. The urge to sleep becomes uncontrollable, and people may fall asleep while at their desk or in a meeting.


Additionally, NINDS supports genetic and immunological research in narcolepsy at the Stanford University Center for Narcolepsy. Blood samples from individuals with narcolepsy can be sent by mail and are needed to enable scientists to study this disorder more intensely. Automatic behaviors occur when a person falls asleep during an activity for a few seconds and continues on with the activity without being consciously aware of what they are going. For example, a person might fall asleep writing and continue to write even though they are not aware they are doing it.

Before you take this drug, be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history. Ritalin may not be the right treatment option if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. At Nao Medical, we understand the challenges of living with narcolepsy. Our team of healthcare providers specializes in sleep medicine and can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

As a result, taking Ritalin with a beta-blocker could make the beta-blocker less effective for these conditions. If you develop serotonin syndrome, your doctor can recommend how to manage this condition. If you take Ritalin with an SSRI, watch for symptoms of serotonin syndrome.

And then you crash hard going into the next day,” wrote one member. Online or in-person support groups can help people with narcolepsy connect with others with the disease. Check-ins with a mental health counselor can prevent, identify, and treat mood and anxiety disorders. The risk of accidents can depend on the severity t of excessive daytime sleepiness as well as the presence of other symptoms, like cataplexy. People with narcolepsy should talk with their doctors to assess whether it’s safe for them to drive and discuss specific approaches to reduce accident risk.

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Ironically, when there is an absence of stimulants, this too may lead to increased drowsiness, insomnia and other negative symptoms. It is common for individuals with narcolepsy to abuse alcohol or drugs. It is also not uncommon for patients to abuse their prescription sleep medications, taking them much more often than recommended. Even when treatment incorporates eco sober house review therapy, medications can be slow acting, which causes patients to feel desperate for a good night’s sleep to avoid fatigue during the day. Many people take higher and higher doses as they develop a tolerance for the medication. Underlying causes of narcolepsy are not very well understood, but researchers believe there are several different factors at play.

If you are or a loved one is in need of help or assistance in treatment, The Recovery Village can help. Individuals who struggle with symptoms of narcolepsy and alcohol addiction can receive help from our experienced medical team. If you or a loved one suffers from co-occurring narcolepsy and addiction, call The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab to find the right treatment for you.

When we do something bad, we attribute our actions to circumstances outside of our control. Research on cognitive biases may help to explain the discrepancy between our perceptions of drugs and alcohol at the societal and personal levels of risk. The fundamental attribution error refers to our tendency to attribute the behaviour of others to inherent personality traits, rather than to external circumstances and environmental factors.

Drinking less is better for your overall health and may help you avoid alcohol-induced sleeping problems and exacerbation of narcolepsy symptoms. Similarly, people with narcolepsy may experience a problematic cycle by using alcohol to counteract the inability to fall asleep at night. People on MyNarcolepsyTeam have written about the interaction between their narcolepsy and alcohol use.

If you have a heart problem or high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe a treatment other than Ritalin. Ritalin may have other interactions, such as with supplements, foods, vaccines, or even lab tests. Keep in mind that the following information does not include all other possible interactions with Ritalin. Beta-blockers can be prescribed to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions. An interaction occurs when one substance causes another substance to have a different effect than expected.

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