Sleep is important with PD, but what if you can’t sleep?

Or this could be the cause of your insomnia. Fear for your life.
Or this could be the cause of your insomnia. Fear for your life.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone, not just Parkinson’s patients. But what if you can’t get the needed hours of beauty sleep?

Most people with Parkinson’s have trouble sleeping throughout the night. Thanks to rigidity, tremors, or need to urinate, it could be hard to get to sleep and stay there. Plus there are plenty other things that keep us from sleeping — stress, restless legs syndrome (like me!), just over thinking.

Plus, if you’re not sleeping through the night, you could be more drowsy (which PD meds make you anyway) or fall asleep during the day.

The National Parkinson’s Foundation says that more than 75 percent of PD patients have sleep troubles ranging from difficulty falling or staying asleep, to vivid dreaming, to talking and yelling out in your sleep.

What should you do? Here are some tips from the Cleveland Clinic that are similar to what anyone having trouble sleeping should try:

-Avoid caffeine or stimulants six hours before bed.

-Don’t nap during the day.

-Avoid using your bedroom for activities other than sleeping  (like reading, watching TV or working).

-Hot shower, massage, warm glass of milk.

And if that doesn’t work? Talk to your doctor! Duh!

If something else is keeping you up (like sleep apnea), you could treat that first and maybe that’ll help?

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, some doctors could prescribe a stimulant to help keep you awake during the day if you’re really having trouble. Or sleeping pills or antidepressants at night (since depression is common with PD and causes insomnia).

 

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