How to Deal with a Narcoleptic

May 28, 2013

Imagine you’re standing next to a friend sleeping on the floor in a very awkward position. You can’t you can’t just leave him there by himself. He had another attack – another fit of narcolepsy, a sudden strike of slumber.

You know this person, but you’re wondering why now? Why here?! You look around and you see strangers looking at you and your friend who’s splayed on the ground, face-down. You lean down and check if he’s alright. He’s fine. Maybe he’ll feel a little woozy when he wakes up, but wow, what an inconvenience, huh?

Having someone close to your life who’s narcoleptic isn’t easy, because dealing with a narcoleptic requires a bit of sacrifice from both parties. Well I know that we’ve recently gone through a few articles about narcolepsy – like differentiating it from insomnia and learning how to cope with it.

But what about you who isn’t a narcoleptic but want to learn how to deal with a narcoleptic friend or how to act in case of a third-party narcoleptic situation? Well, this is the perfect post for you, so read on carefully.



The first step in doing anything properly is formulating the right mindset. Understand by remembering that their unique condition puts them in a different stage of life that they remain in. They need constant attention, especially when running without medication.

Although anyone can easily mistake them as a person without narcolepsy because of the way they normally act and socialize, things change until… well, until they get a narcoleptic attack or a sudden fit of drowsiness. That’s why you ought to know better. Understand that they’re also having a hard time. It’s not fun and games you know.

Be Patient

This is the application of your Understanding. You can’t be patient or tolerant of their condition nor can you accept it without being understanding. But once you do understand, you have to be patient and bear with their condition.

There will be times when the narcoleptic might wake up in the core of the night because they can’t sleep or suddenly snooze in the middle of a conversation. It happens, and they really can’t help it. Being annoyed and irked won’t really do much for you, especially for them, so all you have to do is be patient.


There will be times when the narcoleptic will range from slightly disappointed about their condition to being extremely disheartened. That’s why you ought to be there with words of encouragement. You can’t just tell them to “suck it up” or “deal with it.”

You need to be helpful in at least the verbal level. It depends on you, but just try to cheer them up. Trust me, if you were a narcoleptic, you’d want to complain 24/7 too (since at night you’d beawake most of the time), but there’s no point in that, is there? It’s better for you to remind them to take their medication instead.

Be There

You know what’s better than being encouraging in the verbal level? Being a supporter in the physical level, which helps emotionally too. Just being there is a great help. This is especially appreciated when the narcoleptic suffers an attack in a public place.

Don’t run away in fear or confusion. Rather, accompany him until he wakes up. When people stop and wonder what’s wrong with him or why he suddenly dozed off in the middle of a conversation, stay calm and explain. It’s not that hard once you get used to it.

As for you, there’s always a reward for those who are patient and caring. You know that, even though your friend is a narcoleptic, they can still live life to the full, and you both can experience deep rewarding sleeps at night. So seize the night! God bless.