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.


Jobs for Narcoleptics


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 with narcolepsy

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:

  • Surgeons
  • 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)
  • Receptionist
  • Sleep Tech
  • Zookeeper
  • Retail
  • 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


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

Online Business – Smart Passive Income or Growthlab


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


Eating a narcolepsy diet has hands down been the most impactful action in alleviating my symptoms for narcolepsy. I also find it to be the best natural treatment for this sleeping disorder.


Sign up for my narcolepsy diet ebook to get guidance on diet.

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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:


  • Copywriter
  • 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


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With love,




Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you purchase the item via the links. I recommend only products and companies I use or have reviewed and the income goes to keeping the site ad-free.


  • Dawain says:

    My diagnosis comes from untreated sleep apnea during my military service. Since being medically retired, I’m still shocked by what going on it’s like I’ve lost control of my own body. Currently, I go to school and work as an independent IT contractor I recently started work 3rd shift on a three-month contract. Although I use my, CPAP and take my Provigil religiously, I’m still working for advice on employment and lifestyle in dealing with these conditions and networking with people in the same boat. I will experiment with some ideas here and hopefully get some real-life results.

  • HL says:

    Hey, Ive been diagnosed with Narcolepsy since 2011. Since then, it affects my work and school. I cannot pay attention in class and i will just sleep throughout the lesson.
    I worked as a childcare assistant teacher after i graduated from polytechnic last year. Unfortunately, recently i was told to stop reporting for work. The reason that the employer stated was that for children safety I have to reconsider on the jobs i apply. They kept emphasizing on children’s safety.
    I mean throughout the past 1 year, it was really tough on me because of the things that they said to me…At the start of this job i tends to doze of for few seconds, and tends to fall asleep when Im not doing anything..
    Yes, as a Narcoleptic, I have to face the fact that I have this condition which will restrict me from doing the things I like.
    Now, I am really lost. I dont know if i should just further studies (well, at least in the future, my starting pay will be higher), or should i just work overnight…

    My sleeping patterns are very different from other people..during the day i tends to fall asleep, and during the night even when im tired, after certain timing i will be wide awake…

    Also, I would like to learn more of this condition so that i can help people who needs helps because of this condition…

    • Peter says:

      Hey Hazel,

      I’m so sorry to hear that, I’ve certainly been there myself. In the meantime, I find it best to work with a schedule that’s in accordance with your narcolepsy, and not against it. That may mean taking the night shift, but only you can make that decision on your own. What does your treatment regimen look like? Have you tried changing your diet? Do you have any stress management practices like meditation or yoga? I found that once I started to meditate on a regular basis, my EDS lessened in environments of stress (work specifically). Looking for some guidance in those areas? Check out my page on how to treat narcolepsy ->

      Is there anything else you would like help with? Perhaps I can point you in the right direction 🙂

  • Ed says:

    Hi Brad and Peter and everyone else. Im not diagnosed as yet but my neurologist is 99percent sure i have N pending my MSLT. My situation is so that i have a good job but suddenly everything is spinning out of control. So much that I broke down after the confusion its causesn the pshycological effects is hitting hard and i cannot work properly. My HR too is sending my for assessment and it might mean the end of my career. Best of all family hve no idea how much it actuallu effects your life. When the symptoms appear it mkes you so depressed and anxious. I hope I find a way to keep my job. PS i get this feeling tht nuy form of customer service or dealing with clientele all day is a perfect job cos my desk job is killing my slowly with sleep attack. Have faith tht ll is going well. Peace

    • Peter says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your struggles Ed. Wishing you nothing but the best with your Diagnosis and work situation. Is there anything I can do to help?

  • Brad Gupton says:

    Please help!!! I was diagnosed with narcolepsy in June 2015. I held onto the job I had until Aug. 2017 with the help of FMLA protection.
    In Aug. 2017 the HR dept. called me in the office to inform me that they could not accommodate the restrictions that my doctor had put me on. They asked me to leave and go call my doctor and ask her if she could lift the restrictions. When I left to call my doctor I felt like I already knew the answer before I even called.
    I did as the HR dept. had requested and called my doctor. My doctor was not able to get back to me until early the next morning. She said she could not lift the restrictions of working 8-9 hours a day 5-6 days a week. The company I worked for said they needed me to be available as always 7 days a week 12 hrs. a day. My doctor said that if I kept up that pace that it would likely kill me.
    Ever since this day my families livelihood has been on a downhill slide. I am currently unemployed, I have a wife and two children to provide for.
    My wife is dealing with heavy grieving and struggling to be able to get back into the work force herself after being out of work for the better part of 5 years. While I was working this 7 days a week 12 hours a day schedule she left her very successful career of sales in the automotive parts industry to care for her grandmother full-time that was dieing of Alzheimer’s. Before she became a 24/7 caregiver for her grandmother she took care of her mother the best she could from 256 miles away that had breast cancer.
    Her mother passed in November 2015 then her grandmother which in a lot of ways was her actual mother figure all her life passed May of 2017. After being forced to quit my job in Aug 2017 I cashed in my 401K to pay off the mortgage on the house that we were to inherit after probate was finalized. Well probate took longer than expected and the money from the 401K went to fix plumbing and structural repairs of the house that were long overdue and and falling apart as well as supplemented my then lower income from a temp company due to having to find other employment. There is much more to this story. Too much to write.
    Please help. I am looking for solutions not looking to give somebody a sob story. This is my / my families current reality. Needing solutions soon. I love my family and want them to have a good life. If you have any suggestions on how to move forward please advise.
    Confused and don’t know what to do.
    Brad Gupton

    • Peter says:

      Hello Brad,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I’ve certainly been “punched in the mouth” because of this disease and life in general. I’m not trying to diminish your challenges, but I’ve faced major problems just like you.

      I feel for you.

      That being said, I need you to remember one very important thing: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There’s a community of us that struggle just like you: I found a ton of solace in knowing that even though my loved ones may not know what it’s like to live with Narcolepsy, others do. Read their stories, bond with them, ask them for strength. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

      Not all is lost, however, Brad. When one door closes another opens. Here is my advice to you.

      Your next steps

      1. BREATHE. You will figure this out. Life finds a way. I would recommend starting up meditation to help with your stress. My favorite app is I hear is a good one as well.
      2. Get on unemployment to help with the bills. I know it probably won’t cover all of your expenses, but it will definitely help.
      3. Cut back on the expenses in the short-term. Need creative solutions on how to do this? Check out my favorite money-saving blogs for ideas: and
      4. Find ways to earn income in the meantime. Here are some ideas off the top of my head.
      A. Drive for Uber/Lyft if possible, and if your Narcolepsy is under your control enough to do so safely.
      B. Freelance. If you have any skills; web design, SEO, copywriting don’t hesitate to use them and grind to find customers.
      C. Search craigslist for odd jobs.
      5. Accomplish just one task a day that moves you towards a promising future. Write that one cover letter. Take that one phone interview, reach out to that one friend from high school asking to do freelancing work for him. It’s way too easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why momentum is so important. Keep your legs moving, even if it’s just one step at a time.
      6. Practice gratitude. Be grateful for your wife, your house, and your kids. Energy flows where your focus goes.

      I hope that helps Brad. I’m rooting for you.

      Your fellow PWN,


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