Jobs for Narcoleptics & Working with Narcolepsy
Working with Narcolepsy — My Story
Jobs for narcoleptics and working with narcolepsy — we’ve all had to contemplate these things. To date, this problem has been the greatest struggle in my life: learning how to manage my narcolepsy while at work. It’s led me to move to a city that has a better public transport situation, change careers, and implement all kinds of hacks while working. Below you’ll find a list of the best jobs for narcoleptics, suggestions on jobs to avoid, ways to make money from home with narcolepsy, and how to improve your current working with narcolepsy situation.
Job for Narcoleptics
I’ve surveyed dozens of readers, collected information across message boards (Twitter, Facebook, and Message Boards), and used some good ole deductive reasoning to compile the best jobs/careers for narcoleptics. I’ve compiled them below into two segments. The first is employed — this list is for those who have bosses and work as a standard employee. The second list is for the self-employed. The final section is a primer on how to increase your freelancing income while working from home (a great option for those with narcolepsy if you ask me.)
Working as an employee with narcolepsy
This should go without saying but there are some occupations out there that just aren’t that compatible with this sleeping disorder. For example a brain surgeon. You should definitely not be responsible for operating on a brain if you have the slightest risk of experiencing EDS. Another one would be a truck driver.
Working with narcolepsy — What not to do
Examples of careers/jobs to avoid with narcolepsy:
- A driver of any kind
- Construction worker (specifically operating heavy machinery)
What to look for in jobs with narcolepsy
Some positive traits of jobs that work well with narcolepsy: working on your feet, set your own schedule, easy access to a nap room, and not dependent on heavy machinery.
Best Options – Jobs for people with narcolepsy:
- Service industry – Servers, Bartenders, Hotel Staff, etc.
- Primary Care Physician
- Nursing (pending specific duties)
- Sleep Tech
- Security Guard
Disclaimer: Some people’s symptoms are so severe that any job may be a challenge until the symptoms are managed through various forms of treatment.
Being Self-Employed with narcolepsy
The benefit of working from home with narcolepsy is that you don’t have to worry about working during your most alert hours because you set the schedule. You don’t have to worry about finding a nap room. Nor do you have to worry about judgment from your coworkers..unless your dog is a bitch.
Jobs for Narcoleptics – Learn skills to work from home with narcolepsy
There are several ways you can learn these skills in order to work from home. If you want to go the self-education route, I’ve linked my favorite options for each position.
Copywriter – Location Rebel
SEO – Location Rebel
Web Designer – Treehouse
Web Developer – Treehouse
App Developer – Treehouse
Data Analyst – Treehouse
But if you’re looking for a more structured path, hands down the best option would be Lambda School. Lambda School is a revolutionary company that’s trying to disrupt the education system of the United States. Sounds crazy right? It’s pretty simple in practice though. Lamba School will take you from having no knowledge to job ready in 7 months and you don’t pay a dime upfront. AND you only pay if they land you a job and if that job makes you more than $50,000 per year.
Read more about Lambda School here.
Working with Narcolepsy
Let’s say you’re already working with narcolepsy. I’m sure you’ve struggled with some of the following:
- Empathy from coworkers
- Managing your EDS
- Finding a nap room
Let’s provide some solutions to those problems, shall we?
Empathy from coworkers if you have narcolepsy
It’s our job, not theirs. That is at least my approach. There are things in this life that you have control over, and things that you do not.
Let me be clear: I’m not advocating that we be doormats. I’m not advocating that you let others walk all over you if they are disrespecting you because of your chronic illness. But what I am suggesting is to let go.
To let go of those questions in your head you’ve been running on repeat:
Why don’t they understand?
Why do they think I’m lazy?
Don’t they know how hard this disease is?
Because when you ask a negative question, you’re going to get a negative answer.
People will understand this disease as much as you understand cerebral palsy, or Parkinson’s disease, or Type 1 Diabetes.
They are human — recognize they can’t possibly know our struggles as we do….and that’s okay. Recognize that there are things you can control in life and things you can’t. Other people’s perceptions of you fall in the latter category. Once you internalize that, a heavy weight will be lifted from you.
Managing your Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) at work
There are a few tactics you can use to combat excessive daytime sleepiness while you’re at work. I’ve outlined them below.
1 – Use a standing desk
I don’t know about you, but the more I move and the less sedentary I am, the more alert I become. Using a standing desk is a great hack.
Below are links to the top rated desks on Amazon
2 – Work during your peak alert hours
Try negotiating with your boss if there is a way to come into work during the most optimal hours for you. Or perhaps you could even do some remote work for a few days of the week. Explore those possibilities with your employer
3 – Eat a low sugar diet
4 – Use MCT Oil
MCT is like sourcing your body’s energy from coals instead of gasoline. It’s a much slower burn that helps you stay alert for the 8 hours at work and more. I first heard about MCT Oil its positive effects on people with Narcolepsy from Madcap Narcolepsy.
My favorite type is Onnit’s MCT Oil
Below are the brands that Madcap Narcolepsy Recommends:
5 – Use a UV Light while working
Using a UV light while working helps send signals to my body to produce cortisol and suppress melatonin (the relaxation hormone). I highly suggest getting yourself a UV lamp for work. Below are my two favorite brands:
6 – Find a nap room
Taking regimented naps at work can provide a huge relief of your narcolepsy symptoms. The challenge always lies in first bringing up the subject to HR or management and two the logistics of finding one. I implore you to be strong when fighting for your right to reasonable accommodations for narcolepsy.
In conclusion — Working with Narcolepsy & Jobs for Narcoleptics
There are certain jobs that aren’t a good fit with this chronic disorder and there are ones that are. Try to design your life around a career/work that works in congruence with this disease and not one that’s against it.
Consider freelancing or working from home by building the following skill sets:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimizer)
- Web Designer
- Web Developer
- App Developer
- Data Analyst
Last but not least, make sure you’re managing your EDS by trying the following:
- Use a standing desk
- Work during peak hours
- Eat a low sugar diet
- Use MCT oil
- Use a UV light
- Find a nap room