Narcolepsy Support Group

A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a disorder in the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders can interfere with mental and emotional function. If you are having trouble falling asleep or having some other kind of sleep disturbance, this group is for you.

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Narcolepsy & Marijuana?

After reading some posts here I noticed that two people with Narcolepsy posted that marijuana has been beneficial to them. I live in California where medical marijuana is legal but my doctor refuses to recommend it, sold entirely on the idea that medical weed is just a way for stoner's to get weed legally. I've smoked weed for years and can tell you that when I feel an attack coming on
just a couple of hits (not enough to get wasted) does the trick. When an attack comes on I feel like my head becomes heavy, there is a dull kind of sensation that in my head and all I want to do is sleep. After taking a couple of hits that sensation is gone, as is my desire to drop off to sleep. The benefit can last for hours. I know it seems stupid (at least to me) that you'd take something that in effect is a downer to prevent the attack when doctors recommend meds that amp you up thus going in the opposite direction as weed, but its worked for me. Anyone else try this or had any success
or not with marijuana? I'd like to know.



I have been smoking since just a few months before I was finally diagnosed. I have just recently come to realize it actually helps me stay awake. I sort of attribute this to how marijuana makes you more attentive/interested in your surroundings.

Of course I also use it to help me sleep at night.

I've found that I can't really smoke too early in the day, or I am really out of it and sleepy afterwards.

Do you take provigil?

For some time now I have been bothered by the question of whether my appalling memory loss is caused more by provigil or more by marijuana. Or, by the narcolepsy itself, as I'm still at the age where its supposed to be 'progressing' (and indeed it seems to be).

I also think sometimes that "I was a stoner way before I was ever a stoner". Meaning, I started smoking at the end of my senior year of high school, but I'd slept through class (when I managed to show up) since middle school, and always been a little hazy/forgetful/confused. This story, of being thought 'lazy', seems to be a very familiar one to us narcoleptics.

Hi takemantwo,
Thanks for the response. I will hit the points you make in your reply one by one and end with my recent research on Narcoleptic's & the Evil Weed!

To answer your question... Do I take Provigil? I recently started Provigil after using amphetamines successfully for the last 10 years. I was on Provigil a total of four days and could not function, think straight, and I slept all 4 days. My doc took me off of it and put me back on speed.

Like you me & weed don't get along in the mornings... No Wake & Bake here. It'll send me right back to bed for the day. I'm worthless after smoking in the morning... haven't attempted it in years.

After noon its fine. This is also the most common time for my sleep attacks... from 1pm to 3pm daily. Although they come any time of day after I've been idle for 5 to 10 minutes... I'm out.

I've been blogging with a sleep expert, Dr. Steve Poceta, MD on another health site I belong too. I put the MJ question to him as it effects me. The good doc wrote in his reply... "The feeling of head heaviness is a very common description of the sleepiness experienced by a narcoleptic. THC stimulates brain dopamine which is a stimulant, and most people experience a stimulant effect immediately after smoking MJ, so your experience makes sense."

He goes on to caution about the long-term
effects of MJ vs. low doses of prescription Dexedrine. Both pose risks.

So a couple of MJ hits off a pipe, like any medication will certainly effect individual people differently, but used as described above it helps me a lot.

Take care,

I have always been on edge because of the stimulants prescribed for the narcolepsy. Short fused, easily angered and agressive can describe me at times. Im a real funny guy and love to laugh but can be set off easily at times. Anyway I discovered Marijuana in Highschool and it was like being reunited with my long lost friend. My mood control and state of mind were 1,000 times better than before. Also as it applies to your post it does help keep me awake if not over used like you mentioned. Also it does help me sleep at night as well.

What you mentioned earlier about it being wierd that marijuana being a depresent would actually help us to stay awake isnt as wierd asa you might think. Doctors are set in there ways prescribing stimulants and then closing there minds to anything else. Our whole society is based on this frame of harder, work longer, sleep less, take stimulants, make more $$$ blah blah blah. You know what Im saying? They need to open there minds to all possabilities and stop closing the door on Marijuana because they were brain washed into thinking its evil.

I dont want to get to off topic (srry) Any way Im in process of trying to get my medical marijuana card in Oregon. I also get migrains frequently and marijuana really helps me.

Good luck with your treatment

MJ doesn't work for everyone Braden, but neither does, Provigil or Prozac for example. But for those who find relief from using it all I can say is good for you!
Recently I saw my doctor regarding the meds I take for narcolepsy and mentioned to him my experience with MJ. I asked if he would be willing to write a script for it since California is a legal medical MJ state. His answer is the great "cop-out" that many docs use... "There are no studies done on MJ use on ppl with narcolepsy," there-fore the answer is no.

Well of course theres no research available on it... No one is willing to fund such a study, and as long as the federal gov't refuses to ignore state law and threaten these doctors with jail and ruin there never will be. I don't want to go to one of the "Pot Doc's" here that will provide anyone with a MJ script for $175. because in my opinion they are a joke.

My thoughts are this... When we take our medical conditions serious enough to seek out alternative options, and we find some relief in these alternatives then at least we have tried to grasp onto a better life for ourselves. By doing so does not make us criminals, every living person on this planet can be expected to do exactly the same when options present themselves. But the American government in its ass-backwards hypocritical beliefs
will never act in the best interest of people when their own best interests of obtaining $$$$ stands in the way.

It is the sad state of affairs in the USA that our gov't believes it has the authority to act against those who seek relief when in fact they lack the moral ground to support any law that makes criminals out of people who are not! But thats the way it is. And NO I DO NOT HAVE A POT CARD IN MY STATE AND WILL CONTINUE TO GET MY WEED FROM THE BLACK MARKET, LEGALLY OR NOT AS IT HAS PROVEN TO PROVIDE ME WITH RELIEF THAT THE PRESCRIPTION NARCOTICS THEY PROVIDE ME WITH DO NOT. Not to mention the pot is safer & not addictive. Thats being a responsible person and taking care of myself. There is NO CRIME in my behavior and there are NO VICTIMS!

By the way I graduated from Aloha High School in 77, in Beaverton not far from you! If it works for you keep doing it - if not move on. Good luck!

I wish smoking were legal here. I agree with what you guys have said. For some reason, smoking keeps my awake. Not alert, mind you, but I can't fall asleep after I smoke either...for whatever that's worth. I'm not really sure why. I should do more research into the neural mecahnisms involved.

Right on guys. I really feel that the message that marijuana isnt evil is spreading. Im optomistic that our generation will make it legal one day. Once all the stuff shirts are retired and the reigns have been passed to us we can make some progress. Keep on keeping on.

Oh ya kinda off topic but really important to me is that for 1 week now I have been taking some health products (vitamins and other supplements) trying to get my body in better health. Im on the 5th day and have stopped needing my afternoon nap. My energy level has skyrocketed and also Im sleeping much beter than I was before. Just wanted to pass it on, lol Im so happy I have to tell someone.

Hey Lost nights - Its likely that the reason you have problems getting to sleep after burning weed is because the THC in the weed releases dopamine that is stored in our brains. Dopamine is a natural chemical produced by the brain that can be released for many reasons or by many triggers, like smoking pot. Dopamine is associated with "POSITIVE" feelings, events, etc. When someone gives you a hug, a small amount of dopamine is released into our system. Serotonin is another bio-chemical that is naturally produced. It is linked to negative feelings and emotions. Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as Prozac and Zoloft prevent Serotonin from re-uptake once released by the brain. This is done to control depression. Hope that helps.

If you want to be technical, Mj was created by the all mighty. I use to live in California, and I think it's cool that they have the med clinics there. I do not like the whole, (take this medication), have you seen the millions of commericals, strickly put there by our government by the pharaceutical companies. It's not legal here in texas, which is a shame. It does help to keep you awake, I don't think I could work though after having any MJ, it makes the mind race in some people. The provigil has been causing me to have headaches lately, and I use to suffer from migraines, so any kind of headache is not enjoyable. So the thought of having to take some pill for the rest of my life, i'm not thrilled about it.

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