Before going to the World Parkinson’s Congress in Montreal, I had suffered a mixed bag of sleeping habits. For many years I would go to bed and after about an hour or two I would wake up and be wide awake for the rest of the night. This reduced the quality of my life during the day, often I would fall asleep during meetings, while at dinner and nearly always in front of the TV. In May 2004 I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea and fitted for a CPAP machine(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) I wear this every night while sleeping and the results in early the stages was a good nights sleep and I was better able to cope with my days, by staying awake when I needed to.
Since I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s the CPAP is not as effective, I find that there are nights where my old sleep patterns reappear.
I had never understood or been told that sleeplessness or sleepiness were some of the non- motor signs in Parkinson’s, so when I saw that there was a talk on it I signed up straight away.
The presentation was interesting,describing how the brain and it’s functions are effected by fatigue due to lack of night time REM sleep and how due to sleepiness that followed during the day the whole body’s resting function was out of kilter. I learned that like myself, a lot of Parkinson’s people had suffered from either or both long before the symptoms of Parkinson’s appeared. There was some theories regarding:
-Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
-Not being able to turn in bed
-Frequent Night Urination
-Medication wearing off
and I am sure lots of others that I can not recall.
The presenters then gave some tips to help in getting a nights sleep:
-Regular Sleep Schedule ( as near as possible each night)
-Exercise early in the day, light exercise in the evening
-Reduce liquid intake in the evening, to avoid the need to urinate frequently
-If you have something on your mind going to bed, write it down and leave the paper at you bedroom door telling yourself you will look after it in the morning.
Before going to sleep try:
-Being on time with your medication
As I started to write this I realised sleep, lack of sleep and fatigue are a big part of my Parkinson’s, and I intent to look into it further. There are lots of articles on it on Google that I can spend some sleepy hours reading, perhaps even find the tip that will work for me.
If you have suffered from Sleepiness , Sleeplessness or fatigue perhaps you would like to share your experience and some of your tips for getting a good nights sleep.
One last word, during the presentation sleep overcame me and I dozed off for a few minutes!
For more information on sleep and Parkinson’s, see the EPDA article “How Might Parkinson’s Sffect Sleep?”
[framed_box]Note: If you choose to make any changes to your lifestyle please seek the advice of your neurologist or a professional in their chosen field first. There is no substitute for professional advice.[/framed_box]
About the Author:
Paul Carey Paul is 69 years of age, he has been married to Dolores for 44 years. They have two daughters, one son and five grandchildren; three granddaughters who live in Chicago and two grandsons who live quite close to him and have a habit of reminding him of his age when he minds them! He is also a member of the Move4Parkinson’s Voices of Hope choir, which he says has given him a new lease on life.