Can A Latex Mattress Help You Manage Narcolepsy?
The most effective way to manage narcolepsy, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is to combine medication with behavioral techniques, including managing your nighttime sleep and naps. And that’s where a latex mattress can help.
What is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a central nervous system disorder that makes it difficult or impossible for the brain to properly regulate sleep-wake cycles. The causes of narcolepsy are not well understood. Still, doctors know that the disorder significantly disrupts brain chemistry, altering normal human sleep patterns, as exemplified by a study published in the journal Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Some narcoleptics fall asleep without warning. Others suffer cataplexy, a condition in which the body will suddenly lose muscle tone and go slack, so that the person with narcolepsy falls limp and is unable to move. The disorder alone is not life-threatening, but it is a chronic and lifelong condition. Though it can be reasonably well-controlled, there is no cure.
Controlling Narcolepsy… With a Mattress?
Narcolepsy almost always needs medical intervention. It may take several experiments to find the proper medication for each individual, but once found it can noticeably improve the patient’s quality of life.
Still, medication alone can’t completely control the disorder. Most doctors recommend behavioral techniques along with medication to help minimize unexpected episodes of daytime sleep.
And that’s where a latex mattress can help.
If you have narcolepsy, most doctors recommend short naps (about 15 minutes) after meals and during times of the day when you feel sleepiest. If you have the luxury of taking those naps at home, you can maximize them by giving yourself a high-quality sleep surface that lets you fall asleep fastest and sleep deepest, so you awake refreshed and less likely to suffer an episode of daytime sleep.
The body-contouring support and customizable softness of latex can help you maximize your short daytime naps, so you can maximize your whole day.
Nighttime and Narcolepsy
Sleeping well can be difficult with narcolepsy. Neurochemistry is already altered and the brain is known to have difficulty regulating sleep-wake cycles. The effects of daytime sleep on our nighttime sleep cycles can further impact your potential for a night of healthy sleep.
Research has shown that nightly sleep problems can have a noticeable impact on our daytime cognitive function, as reported in Sleep Medicine Reviews. So one key to living well with narcolepsy is to maximize your chances for high-quality, deep nighttime sleep.
Again, latex is a superior mattress for these purposes. When you lie on a traditional mattress, the weight of your body against the firmness of the mattress can create pressure points, especially at the shoulder and hip, that are uncomfortable and can reduce healthy circulation. Latex helps to distribute your body weight over the full surface of the mattress, thus alleviating pressure point pain and aiding with circulation.
A recent study, published by the journal Applied Ergonomics, asked sleepers to transition from a home mattress that caused uncomfortable pressure points to a body-contouring mattress that helped minimize pressure points (as latex does). When test subjects changed from a home mattress that caused pressure points to a test mattress designed to alleviate pressure points, they had significantly better sleep quality throughout the night.
Holistic Management of Narcolepsy
Healthy sleep habits are only one of many tools at your disposal for managing narcolepsy and cataplexy. Talk with your doctor about using medications, exercise, diet, and a good bedtime routine to maximize your chances of a good, full life with narcolepsy.
An all-natural, 100% latex mattress can help, but it’s only one weapon in your arsenal. Build a full routine and stick to it, and you’ll have your best chance to be at your best.