Sleep is as essential to a person’s well-being as is nourishment. Interrupted sleep pattern can lead to several sleep-related problems such as mood swings, irritability and it also impacts an individual’s physical well-being. Studies show that Parkinson’s disease affects a person’s ability to attain good sleep. In fact, insomnia is one of the common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s can quickly initiate sleep, but the problem is they wake up within a few of hours and find it impossible to sleep through the rest of the night.
Parkinson’s disease has been proven to upset the Circadian rhythms, and it disrupts the quality of a person’s life. Imbalanced circadian rhythms affect the mood, health and overall well-being.
Some of the common sleep problems related to Parkinson’s disease include –
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sleep apnea
- Sleep attacks
- REM sleep behaviour disorder
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Nocturia (frequent nighttime urination)
- Periodic leg movement disorder (PLMD)
- Sleep aids for Parkinson’s patients
- Medical Therapies
If you are experiencing sleep troubles, there are several medications that doctors prescribe so that you can sleep better. The medication can be adjusted according to the prescriptions so that the patient can stay awake during the day and sleep well at night. Drugs like Clonazepam and Melatonin are prescribed for REM sleep behaviour disorders. Both these are strong sedatives. Putting on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device) can help individuals who suffer from sleep apnea, to enjoy uninterrupted sleep at night. Antidepressants are also an option for insomnia. Don’t practice self-medication, instead, consult with your physician and get his/her opinion since these drugs have side-effects if not used under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule – every night go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every morning.
Plan a bedtime schedule so that you manage to stay in bed for at least 7 to 8 hours.
Spend time outside. Exercise every day and get some fresh air.
Consider light therapy. Spending time near a light therapy box can help improve sleep.
Don’t indulge in daytime napping. And if you really cannot do without it make sure not to nap for more than an hour.
Don’t use stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Alcohol can make you sleepy, but it disrupts sleep.
Have light meals at night
Keep water nearby so that you don’t have to get up from bed at night. If you are taking PD medications, you might frequently feel thirsty at night, so you need to keep water by the bedside.
Do not keep a television in your bedroom and don’t work in your bedroom.
As mentioned above sleep is a very necessary process which is necessary to keep us in good health. By following the tips discussed in this article, you can enjoy a good sleep.